I discovered yoga in my local council-run gym. I worked out to stay in shape and only attended a class out of mild curiosity. I would love to say I was hooked, but it took a while for my barriers to fall. I was naturally athletic, but yoga involved controlled slow movements that challenged my balance and stamina. I struggled to maintain my mental and physical resilience, which irked and inspired me in equal measure. In truth, I was drawn to the uncomfortable silence my yoga teacher implored I ‘sit with’. In the discomfort, I found an ability to understand myself. The asana and sutras resonated on a metaphysical and metaphorical level.
Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?
The moment I realised that I had found my happy place. I wanted everyone in the world to unburden their mind and live a fulfilled life.
How has yoga changed you?
Yoga gave me joy. Pure unadulterated, speaking to strangers, dancing everywhere, smiling anywhere joy. It’s the night before Christmas, your birthday and a summer holiday feeling all rolled into one.
Any advice to people considering it? If you struggle in your first class, try a different teacher. Each teacher brings their unique understanding to an ancient Indian practice. Alter your approach to suit what your body needs. Consider the season, your diet, stress and energy levels when deciding which class to attend. Yoga is a cohesive practice that will nourish and heal your body and mind. Take it beyond a method to stay in shape. The magic happens off the mat!.
My favourite quote as a yogi:
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self - The Bhagavad Gita