I cannot pinpoint what ignited my curiosity for yoga but I do remember my first 'class'.
It took place in my home and I was led by an instructor on a free DVD I had received after sending off a few tokens collected from a 'healthy' cereal.
From then I was hooked.
Eventually I started to go to classes and over the years I have tried many different styles of yoga. Hatha, Iyenga, Bikram and currently Vinyasa. From my childhood I have always been sporty and active. I used to compete in athletics as a teenager and I was good.
One of my early coaches also coached an Olympic champion and many of my contemporaries went on to international level.
Who knows where I would have been if I had continued but circumstances meant I had to stop.
Having a connection with my body at work has remained important to me. I love to feel my heart pounding and feel my muscles working. This gives me a sense of what by body can do, of the strength I have and the energy I can generate.
As as creator I am strongly tapped into my intuition and many of my hunches are felt in my body. So I am more receptive when my body feels well tuned.
I fell in love with yoga because of the union it makes with the body, emotional and spiritual sides of myself.
We all hold so much of our experiences, particularly trauma, in our bodies and if allowed to go unchecked, over time this manifests as disease. There needs to be some way of releasing this held energy out and away so we can move freely.
Think about how good your body feels after you have had a really good stretch. Or how you can shake a cloth after the water has been wrung out. This is how I feel after practicing. If I am travelling away from home I find online classes to follow or at the very least need so spend a good few minutes twisting, extending and breathing into areas of stiffness and tension.
Many people feel intimidated by their lack of being able to 'do' a pose. I still cannot sit cross legged without my knees pointing up to the sky after all these years but I understand that there is a lot of letting go about certain life events that I need to move through for my hips to open and only patient practice will encourage that.
I accept that the time has not yet come for me to deal with that aspect of my story and there will be some part of my psyche that is holding on to it. Trying to protect me from the truths I must eventually face. Often look at other yogis stretched out and I can tell that the stretch must feel so good. I will get there because I do not intend to stop practicing. It is just going to take more time.
This is another thing yoga has brought me. Deep patience and the ability to forgive myself and develop an enormous respect for my body. Despite the past years of not eating the best foods and smoking, it is still here carrying me through life.
I use yoga to find centre. Some days when I go to the mat I am not in the best mood. Often I am angry, disconnected or sad but during each class there comes a point when I move out of that mood and into gratitude.
Gratitude that I have found a way to transform myself.
Gratitude that I have health to move in a way that I can see others struggle.
Often when we find something that gives us so much pleasure we want to tell everybody and convert them. I know that method does not work. All that you need comes to you when the time is right.
I will always be a student but I know that in the future I will teach yoga and bring that feeling that I first felt all those years ago to others.
Thanks for reading