Following on from my last post about anxiety, I wanted to share my yoga journey and what yoga means to me.
I am not an instructor, or someone that knows that much about yoga really, but it’s become such an important element of my day now.
I would love to become a yoga teacher one day, perhaps it’s something to aim for, but for now I just enjoy the practice and the break it gives me from my thoughts, anxiety and worry.
So, when did I first discover Yoga? Well years ago, I was an extreme gym bunny, attending my local leisure centre almost every day and I loved the adrenaline, loved the fast pace of the treadmill, the aching legs and the endorphins it gave me. I saw Yoga as something too slow, too calming. I didn’t think it was hard enough and I always left the class before going into Savasana, thinking it was a waste of time…!
Skip forward to today, and I’ve swapped my gym bunny status to become a complete and utter Yogi! I still run, swapping the treadmill for fresh air these days, but when I first began to suffer with what I now know is anxiety, I didn’t need any more adrenaline. It was pumping through me without the gym machinery, most things set it off, even leaving the house. I couldn’t deal with being fast paced, I saw achy legs as a symptom to my anxiety and that left me in a panic. I needed to relax. To learn to breathe. But I missed exercise, it is part of me and I felt lost without it.
So, one day, I just thought about trying Yoga again, I had been bed bound due to beta blockers and I was struggling to even climb the stairs. I thought I could probably manage a yoga practice and it would stretch my aching limbs from not moving from my bed all day.
I got Youtube on my IPad and just came across the Boho Beautiful channel. Two nomads, who had sold everything to travel the world and film Yoga videos, aiming to inspire people to live consciously, and growing a community for health and mindfulness and bring more kindness into the world. Sound a little cheesy? Well it was exactly what I needed at that very moment.
So, I began. And my pre-conception of Yoga was completely wrong. It was slow to a degree, but goodness me it was hard, to hold the position, to move fluidly, to be so flexible, to breathe in a certain way whilst mastering the moves, I hadn’t given Yoga enough credit in the past! I was sweating by the end and couldn’t wait to get into the Savasana position that I had so quickly dismissed years before.
For the first time in weeks, I felt my mind was occupied on something else. I felt amazing, I felt empowered, I felt healthy. I felt more myself.
I began to make it a routine. I had been struggling to get out of bed due to overwhelming anxiety but the thought of Yoga got me rolling out onto my mat and practising and practising, until I was able to master a chaturanga dandasana without collapsing on the floor. I felt my body tone up and my arms get stronger. I could breathe, and I accepted the slower pace, it was helping me mentally to calm. I began to turn to yoga whenever I felt my mood slipping.
We got to work on our spare room, setting up a bit of a yoga studio for me, complete with lots and lots of greenery! Dave bought me a beautiful Yogi Bare mat with a palm print on it for my birthday and I think it’s my most used present ever!
I am by no means an expert, but I want to keep learning – my next mission is to be able to learn the Crow pose and I’m almost there.
I attended my first ever Hatha Yoga class the other week in Bristol when visiting my friend, at the Trika Yoga studio. A bright leafy studio, with all the equipment laid out and ready to go, I felt I was at home. Having been suffering with going to social things, I felt I was exactly where I needed to be.
I hope to take a Yoga teaching course one day, it’s one of my aims for when I am feeling better, but I know I have Yoga to thank for a lot of my progress.
I hope you enjoyed beginning this Yoga Journey with me, I hope to do updated posts with my progress.