“Without even realising it, I had opened up parts of myself that had been shut down for as long as I could remember”
For years I thought yoga just wasn’t for me. I felt I wasn’t flexible enough or strong enough. To be honest, I found it down right hard. Downward facing dog was not fun. Reaching for my toes was not fun. I was flabbergasted to think that anyone could coordinate their breath and their movement. But for some reason I was drawn to the practice and so continued to try very sporadically over the years.
It wasn’t until I gave it another serious go whilst travelling through Mexico that I discovered yoga’s true and ultimately life changing benefits. It turns out I just hadn’t found my teacher yet. Not to say the other teachers weren’t good teachers, they just weren’t right for me.
Realising the true potential of Yoga
I soon learned through my practice in Mexico that yoga wasn’t all about how I could contort my body into different positions or whether I could lift my body into an inversion with ease. I had finally got a glimpse of the real reason behind a yoga practice.
To find that quiet, calm and tranquil inner peace that was completely missing from my life, even though I hadn’t realised it.
At the time I was studying an intensive Spanish language course in Oaxaca. I hadn’t studied anything for around 13 years and was actually really struggling with the work load. A friend suggested I go to a yoga class taught by one of her friends. So I did. And I never looked back. Everyday I would study and then go to the yoga class feeling completely brain dead, frazzled and frustrated. And at the end of every class I would leave feeling as though I was floating on a cloud. It was like some kind of magic!
During the classes I was given the time to settle into each posture, find my breath, release built up tension and relax to the point where the brain fog just melted away. I began to use my lungs in a way I never had before and I started using muscles that had lain dormant for years. Without even realising it, I had opened up parts of myself that had been shut down for as long as I could remember, I had created space in those areas that were so cramped and stifled that I’m surprised I could still even breathe. I released and felt many emotions during that time, the catharsis was palpable. And it felt great, inside and out.
Needless to say I began to study and practice yoga everyday after that. I learned that it’s not all about the asanas and actually even more so about connecting the mind, body and spirit in conscious and loving union.
My fitness and flexibility didn’t matter
I realised that even though I was far from fit, strong and flexible, I was still able to practice the physical side of yoga. I didn’t have to know the postures off by heart and I didn’t need a special mat or special clothing to practice. I learned that even though I had previous injuries, I was still able to practice yoga, it taught me to listen to my body and never push it past its limits. I learned that meditation is difficult to master but even when you achieve it for just one minute, it can help brighten your day. I learned that yoga is a lifelong practice and that you are not expected to be able to achieve all of the aspects of yoga overnight. It taught me a new kind of patience; being patient with myself.
Yoga has taught me how to love myself. It has taught me how to love others better. It has taught me that there is nothing but love. And I just love that!
Yoga really is for everybody!
Yoga is for everybody. It doesn’t matter how strong or flexible you are. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how you look, if you have physical limitations or injuries. When most people think of yoga, they think of just the physical practice, the asanas. But regardless of what’s going on with your body, your mind or your life, there is a type of ‘physical yoga’ practice out there for you. And there is no reason to not be able to practice all the other aspects of yoga. Even if you only have time in your day to practice your love and gratitude. That’s ok. That is still yoga.
Love Kat xx