I can hear you groan – not another one of those “how yoga changed my life and made me a better person” posts! You know what? I hate those too 😉
But then again, there is a certain truth in that something in you changes if you find the right place to do yoga… so maybe you want to read on and hear about it? If not, that’s ok too – the next post will be about travel again, I promise 😉
So if you’re still here, let me tell you a bit how I ended up doing yoga.
I’m not a very sporty or bendy person – couch potato and food lover is more like it. But when my former job started to be the cause of stress and frustration, I began to look for some way to deal with it as leaving the job wasn’t an option then. I found a yoga place about 15 minutes walk from my apartment with class times that fit me, took a trial class and then signed up for a beginner’s course. I had a good time there and even if I didn’t feel like I made much progress, at least my sleep after class was deep and restful 🙂 So I took another course but then stopped going as I finally changed jobs and the new job offered office yoga once a week at lunch time. But as most of the others there were way more advanced and an hour wasn’t nearly enough time to explain stuff for us newbies, it was far from perfect. I liked it as a nice break, but yoga to me was still only funny movements and singing “om”, nothing I could really relate to.
Nevertheless, the need for relaxation remained and once I had moved, there was a yoga studio just around the corner which came highly recommended by a friend. It also had a shop and one day I wandered in there just to look around and “check it out”, signed up for a trial week and went to a few different classes – yes, that was a first, I could try which class and style fit me.
Naturally, I went for the “lazy” classes – the ones that had “relax” in their name 😉 Wednesday and Thursday became my yoga nights and my friends learned pretty quickly that there was no offer good enough that I would skip a class. Why? It’s hard to say, but one thing I hadn’t noticed at first was the incredibly good atmosphere, the relaxed and friendly vibe in there. No matter if newbie or regular, everyone was treated in the same nice manner and poses turned out to adaptable to everybody (and every body). I got out of my classes feeling relaxed and accomplished at the same time – because every time there was something positive I could take from the class.
Then there were specials and workshops, I went on my first yoga retreat and came back feeling way more “with myself” than for a long time. About 18 months after I first set foot into ‘Mattenzauber’ (translates to ‘Mat Magic’ – go figure!), I have somewhat changed and need yoga in my life. Nowadays, I don’t shy away from more physically demanding classes anymore, even though yoga nidra is still one of my favourites 🙂
Yoga has taught me to be more grounded, literally by feeling my feet or any other body part on the ground and trusting the Earth to carry me. Before, I had a tendency to go on crazy mind trips and lose all connection to reality. I’m also trying to live in the moment and make sure I am all there – instead of always living in the past or worrying about the future. My posture has also changed, even if my weight has not as much as I may have wanted. I keep myself straighter now, head high and my shoulders back, I don’t look at the ground all the time anymore, but straight ahead. I can and I will take whatever life throws at me.
But the main thing I have learned is that there’s always a way if you have the trust in yourself and accept yourself for what and who you are. Can’t do a certain pose? Keep trying and don’t let it frustrate you – I still can’t do Crow pose but remember the boost it gave me when I lifted my feet off the ground for the first time (and for 3 seconds). Don’t feel like a whole 45 minutes of yoga sequence at home? Do 5 minutes of Downward Dog or some other pose you feel like doing and I promise you’ll feel better. I do 🙂
The people I have met through yoga are very special people who show me in many different ways that everything is possible and that you can change your life if you want to and it will work out. Without the self-confidence I found through yoga and without some of those people, I would not have quit my job and venture into the unknown now! But I have and I know it’ll be great as long as I keep the connection with myself through my practice.
Oh, and despite all that I still love hanging out on my couch for hours and eating unhealthy food 😉
This is a very good essence of my yoga experience:
If you want to, look up the whole text – there are plenty more wise words in it, maybe you find something that inspires you as well!