On again, off again.
My relationship with yoga has been somewhat tumultuous over the years. I first discovered it as a teenager and went through phases of using it to try and ease the constant pain in my back. Looking back, I should have attempted to form the habit then.
Sadly, I was less into forming positive, life-changing habits in my teenage years. Instead, I was into drinking as much alcohol and eating as much food as possible.
I fell in and out of love with it for many years until 2017. I started running and discovered that regular yoga practice significantly helped with flexibility and recovery. However, this short love affair with yoga was not to last. I kept falling in love with more and more physical activities. Eventually, I was pushing myself through several Spin, Circuits and Les Mills classes a week, as well as marathon training. I stopped making time for yoga in my routine.
Keep the love alive.
We were on and off again, like a bad couple, until November 2019, when we became significantly on again.
I completed almost an entire month of daily yoga practice in November and found that it helped my mind to settle while the rest of my life was slowly falling apart.
I have been severely struggling with my mental health since moving to Germany and had to stop running for 2 months at the end of last year. Yoga became my way of filing and compartmentalising the noise in my head.
Towards the end of December, my practice started to fizzle out again, but I knew that this time, I wanted to fight for it. So, I signed myself up for Yoga with Adriene’s yearly January 30 day challenge and for the first time in my life, I completed daily yoga for a solid month. Our relationship was saved!
When I first started this 30-day journey, I couldn’t touch my toes. It hurt to do a seated forward fold even with bent knees, and my muscles were pretty weak. My head was filled with an immeasurable amount of noise. My stomach was in knots daily, and I was holding stress in my jaw so much that it caused constant pain and sensitivity in my teeth.
By the end of January, I had managed to get my forward folds (both standing and sitting) perfected. My upper body and core strength had increased ten-fold and my butt was looking pretty damn perky! I even managed a VERY short crow pose!
The noise in my head wasn’t entirely gone, but the fog had started to lift a little bit and I realised that by doing daily yoga, even if only for 10 minutes, was my chance to breathe properly, to close my eyes and to shut out the rest of the world.
I have experienced all these magical emotions and feelings over the past 2 months of daily practice, but the true healing powers of yoga showed themselves yesterday morning. Feeling a little worse for wear and running on very little sleep, I searched ‘Yoga for Hangovers’ and yep, it’s a thing! I found a beautiful, calm practice which genuinely made me feel SO much better when I stood up again! Nausea cured!
Not giving up & where to find yoga.
My old massage therapist used to constantly tell me off for never stretching and for trying to do too much exercise. While the banter we had is a fond memory for me, I have seriously learned my lesson. I can’t see my love for yoga disappearing any time soon.
If you are interested in taking up yoga and don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, I would wholeheartedly recommend Yoga with Adriene. Her YouTube channel has hundreds of FREE videos and she is such a great personality, it feels like you’re practising with a friend!