How did you get into yoga?
I was introduced to yoga unexpectedly at the age of 17, I took the class initially as there were few other options for movement where I was staying. I didn’t have high hopes since I was incredibly inflexible nowhere near touching my toes, and had bad anxiety with a tendency to have panic attacks when I tried mindfulness. However, I soon fell in love with it and was guided by an incredibly kind and patient teacher, and discovered the limitations I had placed on myself were not set in stone.
Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?
I think it happened slowly, I’ve known for a long time how much I love yoga and how transformational it has been on my life. I often toyed with the idea but felt I wasn’t ‘ready’. My intention behind joining the yoga teacher training course at Yoga West was a combination of wanting to go further in my own practice, as well as wanting to get an idea of whether teaching was a viable option for me, and I am now incredibly grateful to have taken this step!
How has yoga changed you?
I feel like it’s changed me in so many ways I couldn’t write them all! I’m still very much in the process of learning and growing in my practice, but I have come a long way since the beginning. It has taught me to sit with uncomfortable or difficult feelings, mental and physical. As someone who has and still does experience mental health, the impact it has had on me is tremendous in providing so many more coping mechanisms and releases, as well as connecting me to incredibly amazing people.
Any advice to people considering it?
Go for it!I was so apprehensive and convinced I wasn’t “the right type” of person to do yoga – but that doesn’t exist! There is no check list of requirements to do yoga – you can be at any stage and will go throughout your practice. It’s a magical, albeit at times tough, journey – that is incredibly worth it. So, go for it and keep coming back, with time you will see the benefits.
My favourite quote as a yogi:
“It is no wonder that many of us feel disconnected from the universe. When we shun our own darkness, we are disconnecting ourselves from the full spectrum of elements that exists within ourselves and the rest of the universe. We are not just light, we are not just darkness. We are everything. When we realise and truly embrace everything that is within us, that is when we can truly feel healed and whole again.” – Yumi Sakugawa