For a long time I had been (unhealthily) obsessed with being healthy. I never realised that the supposedly healthy things I was doing to my body were destroying my mental health in the process.
The first time I ever practiced yoga was around 6 years ago. I had heard how popular it was; everyone was doing it. I didn’t have the correct equipment – for a while I was doing yoga on my carpet in my dressing gown and slippers.
Back then, it was more of a to just stretch my body and get it moving, a sort of an accompaniment to my hardcore HIIT workouts and strengthening pilates sessions. I didn’t practice it regularly and my mind wasn’t really in it.
I would say that I became seriously involved in a regular yoga practice in 2018 – coincidentally (or not) I believe this to be the same time that I stopped being obsessed with physical appearances, the cardio, the flat tummy, the toned butt… and began, instead, to focus more on the spirituality side of the things, the teachings yoga provides and the benefits of it.
My first yoga mat was given to me by my boyfriend. I started to discover more of what I liked; lights off, candles on, oil diffuser humming away, mat positioned so that I can see the moon OR outside on the grass, early morning sun, and the soundtrack of the birds…
I wrote a piece of coursework at university on my experiences of practicing yoga (and I received my highest ever mark for it). It seemed that writing about it made me just as happy as doing it. After this, everything clicked. Yoga became something that I could focus on and channel all my energy into; energy that was being crushed by the never-ending pile of work at university. It was no longer about being good at it and looking a certain way.
Everything felt different when I ws on the mat. Where I normally rushed life, it was slow. Where I normally held on to emotions, I let them go and was able to put myself in a vulnerable place. Where I used to obsess over body fat, this was about my mind, focus and concentration *with a toned and healthy body being a side-effect*.
It is liberating to find yoga – to find a way of moving my body, keeping both my mind AND body helathy and satisified at the same time.
Yoga came into my life at a time when I needed it most, slotting in perfectly, nearly like my life had always a yoga-sized gap in it waiting to be filled.
My journey with yoga has been half-arsed at times, but has also opened up the best possibility for me; an opportunity to have a relationship with my true self, completely changing my outlook on life in the process.
Do you practice yoga?
Thanks for reading,