Expert Column: Dear Yoga, thank you.
When I first met you, I felt like we were going to only sit together and meditate away but I was clearly wrong. I came to the class with worries in my head, stress on
When I first met you, I felt like we were going to only sit together and meditate away but I was clearly wrong. I came to the class with worries in my head, stress on my shoulders and self-doubt in my mind. Having to go through a rough patch in my life, I thought you could help me. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt when they say that yoga would make you have a body you dream of. So I went, and meet you and I’m glad I never turn my back at you ever since.
During my first yoga class, when I was in corpse pose, I felt more alive than I am ‘dead’. Ironic as it was to me, it was also the most challenging yet relaxing one hour of my life in that 40deg room. Thank god for the green sticker I wore on my tee indicating I’m a yoga-virgin, which lets me get away with being a headless chicken in a room of very advanced yoga practitioners.
Honestly, I was on a sudden yoga high. It was like a workout that I never knew and I loved it. In fact, I think it was the only type of workout that I tried and stick to. I tried kickboxing, gym, aerobics etc and none let me have the discipline as I did with you. I love waking up to you or even squeezing my busy schedule so that I get good rounds of sun salutations to get me through the day. I knew we going to have a special relationship, you and I. Sometimes, showing up daily for you was the only thing I look forward to in my day.
You were such a powerful vehicle for change – in both my body and mind. As I build, not only strength, I start to see benefits beyond the physical and see a potential in me that I never knew existed.
I might have to thank the mirrors in the yoga studios too, I guess. The mirrors intimidated me to no end. I see myself, my jiggly arms, my fat thighs in every practice. I see my flaws, I see my beauty and whether I love or hate what I see, I stare at it straight for that one hour.
And throughout every practice, I found that my self-doubt and fear slowly banish and body stronger that I give it credit for. For that 60 minutes, I know that the mirror doesn’t lie and each passing day, I learn something new – more importantly that it taught me how at times my ego/humbleness has to join me on the mat and that my worries/insecurities should be left outside the room.
I learn to “let go” (this I mean as surrendering and not to release a fart!) in forward bends, and to be kind to my body. When I see my foot coming up over my head while balancing on one leg, I think it is not only beautiful but I see power and strength within me. And when I ignore the sweat trickling down my neck in a backbend, I see stillness and focus. But best of all, when I see that mirror everyday and meet you on my mat, I see more of me that I want to become and the love for myself that I always seem to forget.
For all that and many more to come, thank you.