Yoga appeared in my life a few years ago and it has both challenged and healed me ever since.
As I say this, however, I feel as though I fuel the misconception that already exists around yoga and that is certainly not my intention!
In actual fact, absolutely ANYBODY can do yoga: old, young, tall, short, fat, thin, stiff, flexible, wired, calm… the list is endless! The reason that it is challenging is that it truly is a path of self-discovery – you meet yourself on the yoga mat – in the truth of all that is you.
Whether it’s because you feel you should be more flexible in that spot or more controlled on that balance or be able to have the conscious breathing down or even simply just having the discipline within oneself to make it a regular practice, it tends to be rather confronting. However, the lessons learnt on the mat will definitely convey to the rest of your life and that is indeed priceless.
There is a yoga practice for everyone. Whether you are an exercise junkie, a couch potato, injured, pregnant, ill or in great health, it really doesn’t matter. Quite simply, there is a sequence and style of yoga to suit everybody, in all conditions.
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” ~ Sharon Gannon
I believe my yoga pilgrimage began round about 2011. The main reason for me branching out from my regular dance classes was that I really wanted to improve my breathing capabilities, whilst I was dancing. I ended up getting a whole lot more than that!
There was a yoga studio not far from where I lived, so I went there to explore further. The first few classes that I took, taught by a very special man named Jason, I found to be compelling. His way of teaching really resonated with me. I found myself was drawn to the essence of yoga with every class that I attended and though I found the classes sometimes comfortably and most often unmercifully challenging, I always felt fantastic afterwards.
“Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted — in body, mind, and heart— and how gradually to open and release these blockages. As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed. We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow, or we begin to flow more in our lives.” ~ Cybele Tomlinson
Another benefit of yoga is that it can undoubtedly be practised in the comfort of your own home, should you prefer, or you can easily join one of the yoga classes that are probably available to you in your area. As yoga increases in popularity, it is highly likely that there is a yoga class of sorts that you can attend, wherever you live. If you are lucky enough to live in Amsterdam, I would deeply recommend Jason Revere. He has since opened up his own yoga studios You Can Yoga. If not and you have no yoga classes where you live, you can simply find a practice that suits you on YouTube and start from there.
Over the years between dancing and teaching my own dance classes, it has become a bit more practical to simply do some yoga on my own, as often as I can, preferably in the mornings before I start my day. If you are short on time even 15 minutes will do! Whenever I take the time out to do so, my day always goes SO much better and I feel more vital and less stressed – it is so worth it!
Yoga is not just about moving physically at all – being a dancer I have done that pretty much daily for years. Yoga gives you something a lot more profound. The benefits of yoga are long-standing, very real and incredibly rewarding in more ways than one!
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realisation. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar
I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore yoga and to fit some into your life, in whichever way that works for you… Namaste. 🙂
Special thanks to pixabay.com for all the lovely images.?? And one is by me.?