Why you should try Yoga
Slowly but surely I am turning into a Yogini. The truth is, the thought of attending a Yoga class 5 years ago terrified me, I had many bad experiences in the past and I was always the least flexible in the room and felt embarrassed by my limited range of movement in the asanas (postures). As a student in some yoga classes, whilst teachers may say ‘it’s not about anyone else, just go to your own limit’, the reality was quite different. The room was full of the super yogi’s that could contort their bodies in endless poses – getting praise from the teacher. I would even go as far as to say, I would often receive that disconcerting look, like your the flailing fish out of water and that I was somehow deliberately trying to upset the rhythm of the class.
I needed to find a balance of the RIGHT Yoga, meditation and also the non intimidating form of asanas to enable the physical injuries to ease into yoga. So with that in mind, I studied, practiced and became a Yoga Teacher! I remind myself and my students that Yoga is about self nurture, that we can’t all be perfect at everything. My clients also acknowledge that whilst the bendy ones can get into postures perfectly, they may lack strength in other asanas. Yoga is for everyone, all conditions, ages and with the right teacher, all students can find a happy path.
This all comes down to delving deeper into yoga philosophy and understanding the real meaning of the yoga sutras. Ahimsa is non harming or non violence, and if practiced in life as well as yoga practice, it develops into a different way of thinking, a positive way of thinking about all things. It’s about finding that peace within yourself, about accepting that everyone has limitations (including me). Accepting that yoga is a lifelong journey of discovery, it’s not about that 20 year old racing through the door and doing the best handstand.
We have to accept that everyone is different and everyone needs to be treated like an individual when it comes to Yoga classes. In small groups this is possible and it’s the reason I am so passionate about keeping groups small and manageable, where no one feels compelled to push themselves to injury or who feel obligated to keep up with others.
Slowly but surely my own body is complying with what I ask (on most days) and on days it doesn’t, I ease back and have a gentler practice or simply meditate. I remind myself of the real purpose of Yoga and Ahimsa, to think of it as being non violent against my mind and my body. As a super competitive person it was hard to accept that I can’t do the same physical things that I once did, but instead of beating myself up, I now find peace that I am the healthiest I have been in 15 years as a result of Yoga.
Live healthy, Live Happy. Kelly Pope