I took my first yoga class over ten years ago, and even though I struggled through every sweat-drenched second of it, I knew I had discovered a very special practice.
I didn’t come to yoga because of any physical ailment, injury, or sickness. I wasn’t looking to be ‘healed’ as such, and I certainly didn’t have any interest in becoming flexible. What made me return to the studio again and again were the benefits I experienced for my mind. I guess my relationship with yoga can be summed up by a massive shift in my outlook and an infinitely healthier relationship with myself.
I found yoga, or maybe yoga found me, at a time in my life when I was a little bit lost. I found myself in front of that mirror. I saw myself and I allowed myself to be seen. I found compassion for myself and others. I became comfortable with discomfort. I am learning more and more about the meaning of unconditional love. All of this in front of that mirror. All of this through a series of 90 life-changing-minute classes.
And that is how yoga heals me. It gets me up close and personal with all of my stories, excuses, doubts, fears, problems – both real and imaginary- and it holds me accountable for them. Through the grit and grime of what was and is an oft-messy practice, I started to see myself and the world with unprecedented clarity. Every time I practice, I get to press the reset button and start again, afresh, anew.
This practice truly is a precious gift, just like the present it teaches me to savour.