Since my late teens I have always been a bit of a yoga enthusiast. I used to dabble in a class here and there, but always struggled to surrender to the poses and switch my brain off for the hour class. I liked yoga, but I never really ‘got it’ and I always felt like I was missing something compared to the other students in the class.
I often struggled with being alone, sitting with feelings and sensations and found it challenging to face myself and the rawness of what I was doing and who I was in that moment.
When my life redirected it’s course 12 months ago, (You can read about this in my first blog post) I shifted into a dark place of feeling lost, anxious, alone and basically just flat line neutral. My doctor advised me to focus on Yoga as she felt it would help me, so I did. It wasn’t until I found myself sitting in a Yin Yoga class a week later that I began to see my yoga practice from a new perspective. All of a sudden I ‘got it’, I felt connected and like I finally understood what was happening. I knew from that moment I had to make Yoga a priority in my life if I wanted to heal myself.
For me there is no question that yoga saved my life. That yoga found me when I couldn’t pretend to save myself any longer. Yoga lets you know it’s not your fault; yoga lets you know that even when you feel alone you are feeling, and that is a start.
Yoga brings you into a deep sense of relaxation physically and that creates more space for you mentally and spiritually. It helped me to realise my body isn’t just what people can see but how I can use it.
My frequent Yin Yoga classes helped me see that the only life over which I have direct control is my own. The person I spend the most time with is myself. I should be kind to myself and love myself in order to be able to love other people to the best of my ability.
Yin Yoga is one of my favourite styles of yoga. Yin Yoga postures are more passive postures, mainly on the floor. It is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, and soften the muscle. While yang-like yoga practices are more superficial, Yin offers a much deeper access to the body. Postures are usually held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation.
The slow and delicate poses help create more space, it releases tension in a particular area of the body, and it makes you feel as if you are letting go. In life, sometimes we are unable to love or give to our fullest because we hold on to something that no longer serves us or brings us happiness. When you feel confident in how you spend your time and how you treat yourself, your relationships with other people will fall into place, too.
Yoga has taught me to live in the most in-touch, real way possible. Yoga has taught me how to breathe again, feel again, and somehow it has helped me loosen the grips on life and trust the universe a little more. This conscious lifestyle awakened me to what’s really important and what my purpose in this life is.
I go to Yoga classes twice a week, and I practice at home almost every other day. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day life commitments, but by making the effort to go to my classes or roll my yoga mat out when I get home from work, I feel proud and grateful to myself for giving my mind and body the gift of slowing down, rebalancing and grounding itself.
Sometimes I even dedicate my practice to others who may be needing it, like if a friend or someone I know is in a difficult place or unwell, I will dedicate my thoughts, my breath and healing to them.
Yoga for me is kind of on the same page as prayer, I use this time to focus on what’s going on in my life in that particular time, really let go of my grip and surrender. I experience gratitude when I do yoga, and feel overwhelmingly connected to myself and the universe.
It still blows my mind how powerful our mind is during a semi-meditative state.
If you’ve never gone to a yoga class but are interested to start, I would definitely recommend starting with a Yin Yoga class. You don’t need to have experience, you don’t need to be flexible, or to be or look a certain way. There is no judgement, and you just go at your own pace, doing what feels right for your body.
The divine in me bows to the divine in you – Namaste.
I’d love to know if you’ve tried Yin Yoga, or how yoga has helped you!