A few years ago I was thinking to myself that I need to do something else than work and sleep. I felt like a hamster doing my daily running in the cage. I tried jogging but being a smoker..oh God…it felt like throwing up my lungs (and yes, I know I have to quit smoking). I even went to the gym for a while but it got so boring, yes I could see results but it didn’t give me much pleasure. I am 42 now and the way I look isn’t my priority, it is the way I feel that is important to me. I was looking for something more giving. Something that could help me combine body, mind and soul.
So one day I saw an ad for a yoga class for beginners, did my standard internet investigation. Reviews, teachers, price and so on… I made a payment and waited for the first lesson. I even got my boss to join me (I am really good at convincing people).
After the payment was made I got an email that said the usual stuff: “welcome blah blah blah…when you arrive, just enter the big room, lay down on the floor, relax and wait for your teacher.”
The first day arrived, there was about 10 of us and we all looked kind of confused. Like we had landed on another planet. I guess you always have so many expectations, you hear this and that, you read stuff, people tell you things… Am I properly dressed, am I talking to loud… Some were just sitting on the floor, waiting for the clock to strike 16:30. I went there straight from work and was dead tired so I just lay down. Being relaxed is not in my nature, so I kept looking from one side of the ceiling to another…waiting and waiting and waiting….
All of a sudden my mattress starts vibrating. Oh my God I thought. What on earth is this? Am I the only one feeling this? I couldn’t move, I was scared I was gonna be to loud and annoy other people… I don’t know how many thoughts went through my mind connecting vibrating mattresses to yoga, but eventually it stopped. Then it hit me that there is a public laundry in the building on the lower floor. I don’t think I have ever felt so stupid.
It took me a year to tell someone about that. Go figure….
Around the same time I got an awful back prolapse… I was walking like the hunchback of Notre Dame for months… I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t walk. People actually laughed at me on the street. They are lucky I couldn’t run at that time because I really don’t know what I would have done to them… I went to yoga maybe 3-4 times in those 3 months and was so disappointed because I hate quitting. So I signed up for another semester. Thankfully my back got much better and I honestly think that if it hadn’t been for attending yoga classes I would still walk like the hunchback or worst case scenario get a surgery.
And so I continued… I felt that this was it. You know that feeling when you realise you love something and want to do it for the rest of your life. There were moments of frustration because I couldn’t do certain poses like other people but with time I learned what was most important; patience. I read somewhere yoga described as a relationship. To be honest with you, this is the best relationship I have ever had in my life. It gives me so much and asks for nothing in return. There is mutual respect, there is love, there is a union between body, mind and soul.
Struggling with depression from an early age, yoga has been (and is) the best therapy. It helps me sort out thoughts and place them in their respective places. It helps me not getting affected by things that would usually scramble my brain. I have found some peace that I haven’t felt since I was a little girl. I can put things into perspective much easily, I am able to accept some things the way they are. I remember my second time at yoga when the teacher (yogi is maybe the more correct expression) told me not to fight myself. Just like that he put my whole life in a nutshell. A whole life fighting myself. For what?
It felt like the fog around my brain slowly started disappearing. I started noticing things around me; colors, sounds, views…. it was like opening up so many closed channels. You know, it’s very difficult trying to explain how much I have gained from yoga. I feel different after every class, it helps my body and mind listen to each other. It either relaxes me even though I am not aware I need that or it gives me so much energy even when I think: when I get home after class I am going to sleep for two days, but it’s usually the opposite. Another benefit is the strength. People sometimes don’t believe me when I tell them how much stronger I feel. When I meet people struggling with the similar things I have been struggling with, I always ask them: Have you tried yoga?