I first attempted yoga shortly after having baby K (after the recommended 6 week healing period anyway). I expected for it to be unenjoyable, slow and incredibly boring to do… something I wasn’t likely to repeat often if at all. For a while, lets say a couple of months, I was right… I barely did yoga. I told myself “I don’t have a mat so I can’t do it” or “I’m not flexible enough so why bother?”, I’m sure anyone who has considered yoga has probably felt this way, but when you feel this way, you’re sure you’re the only one. So I gave up for a couple of months, but still saw beautiful poses filling my Instagram feed daily and decided to have another crack at it… I went to Kmart and bought myself a $5 cheap yoga mat so if I didn’t end up continuing, no big deal I spend that on a coffee anyway. So after about a month or so of yoga 2-3 times a week, I started looking at better yoga mats, eco-friendly ones (save the whales and all) and stumbled upon Yoloha Yoga cork mats. I fell in love with them and my fiance’ got me one as a surprise for my birthday.
At the time, I was only doing yoga for the status I felt it gave me, I was one of those girls you see on Instagram who was part of the ‘cult’ or the ‘yoga movement’… but I wasn’t understanding the actual point of yoga. So I started doing some research, curious as to why I wasn’t getting where they were quickly, and why I didn’t feel satisfied with my practise – even after taking a couple of classes which were incredibly unenjoyable. It didn’t take long to figure out why… I was competing. Competing with the girls on Instagram who undoubtedly had been practising daily for years, competing with myself on what I thought I should be capable of and by when, competing with an idea. I stepped back and decided to restart fresh.
I began doing simple poses and trying to make sure my form was right, I began looking at progression yoga pictures rather than only advanced yogi pictures. Little by little (and I am by no means nearly as flexible, strong and controlled as the yogis who grace Instagram) I am improving. Yoga began to actually teach me once I let it.
It started teaching me patience, with myself and with others.
It taught me movement (or lack of), even of the most basic kind, can be difficult – tree pose anyone?
It taught me acceptance (though this is something I still struggle with every single day) of myself does not necessarily mean I cannot better myself.
Bit by bit, yoga has me pulling away my artificial layers, layers I don’t need, layers that no longer serve me, layers that keep me stagnant in life. Yoga has opened my eyes in other parts of life too – without yoga, I’m not certain I would have ever considered veganism. I may not have made one of my best friends (even though its only online at this stage). I may not be the compassionate, strong, dare I say – beautiful person I am becoming. If you have ever considered yoga and thought to start you had to be a particular person to be any good, I urge you to have a go. If you tried a class but found it unenjoyable, I urge you to perhaps find another class, or try to teach yourself as I have.
For those of you who practise already, are you a daily doer? Maybe every few days? Or even once a week? What is your favourite type of yoga? What’s your favourite pose? I can’t wait to read about your yoga journeys!
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