Every week after I click ‘publish’ I toddle down to Forster Yoga Studio. Somedays I’m keen, other days I know I just need that time in a sacred place to breathe. Other days I have no idea how i’m going to get my mind to settle and focus purely on the movements of my body. But every single practise, I leave feeling open, bright, focused and ready to take on the world.
Having scoliosis, my flexibility is limited to begin with. I’d also been put off yoga from my previous experience with a few classes in Cambodia. I’d given it a go but found it painful, no matter what i did. Though i knew yoga was something i needed for both my mind and body. To clear, stretch and calm all aspects of my being.
Getting back into yoga was daunting and my fears held me back, but the Studio offers a space for me to purely be me. Enjoy what I CAN do and appreciate it. Ignore the but’s (sometimes physically), doubts and comparisons. There’s no room for them in the studio so check them in at the door.
I am in no way an expert or avid yogi, but what have I learned so far on my journey?
1) Let Go.
Throw away all doubts and ‘omg i can’t do that’ and ‘But she can do it, why can’t i?’ Let it go.
Let go of the worries, let go of the day, let go of tomorrow. Let it all go.
Look at what you can do and savour it. Smile to yourself. Give yourself (as I have done in many classes) a big hug. You’re progress is yours. Acknowledge it and don’t compare.
3) Celebrate the little things
Don’t JUST acknowledge you’re progress, celebrate it! Enjoy those moments of victory! Why not? We have enough moments of stress and dismay. Be that toddler with light in his eyes whilst popping bubbles
Give it a go! You’re not sure you can do it, but you’d like to say you can and it excites you? Give it a crack! You nail it? Awesome! You epically face plant on the floor? That is also ok! Have a giggle, enjoy that hug from earth and continue.
5) Respect your limitations.
Don’t push yourself. In nature, what does not bend, breaks. You can only do what you can do. And it is enough.
6) You are beautiful
Look at you! You are so unique and wonderful! There’s not a single living being on earth quite like you! That’s pretty special. You are a work of art! A masterpiece! Every piece of you is worthy and full of light! Enjoy all of your being.
7) Believe wholly in yourself.
You are your number one fan. Get those pom poms out, blast the music and cheer yourself on! Visualise achieving your goals, dreams, taking the next step. You have nothing to lose!
8) Observe, learn but do not compare.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yes your yoga teacher can bend over backwards but there were days, and still are, where she couldn’t touch her toes. You are on your way. You are doing your best - that’s all that matters.
9) Rest is precious.
It is so important! Life is all about balance. Work hard, move but also learn to stop and slow down. Recovery is crucial to being able to give your all when taking that next step. Enjoy the presence.
Know that it’s ok to let go and open yourself to whatever you’re feeling. Let it wash over you, let it hug you, let the tears flow, let that smile open wide. Many classes have ended in a sea of giggles, loud moaning and groaning and some even in tears. It is all ok. Let it happen. Allow what needs to be, be.
I’d like to thank Mia for welcoming me with open arms into her studio. I’ve never looked back and I grow stronger, wiser and stretchier (that’s a word right?) everyday!
Have you practised Yoga? What did it teach you? What other activity have you participated in which changed your life for the better? Let me know in the comments!