Since I first stumbled on yoga by accident over 20 years ago, it has been a relationship that for me has stood the test of time.
That besides writing is the only thing I can think of that I have stuck to with such unconditional dedication. Yoga has seen me through the bad times and good ones.
Yet, I was never flexible, and back in my early 20’s, I couldn’t even reach past my knees, no matter reach my toes!
I was a beginner at yoga and just starting out in life. I was alone, or so it felt. At one point I even lost a job due to redundancy and nearly ended up homeless! My self-esteem was low. I felt unloved, unwanted and useless.
Then one day when visiting my Nan in Dorset, my cousin’s girlfriend took me to a jumble sale, which is a bit like a Car Boot Sale but held in a building. It was here amongst knitted socks and smelly jumpers that I came across Richard Hittleman’s 28 Day Yoga Plan.The glamorous blonde on the front and the promise that change can happen in as little as 28 days enticed me to part with my last pound/dollar note.
So I began to do the poses in the book, and it felt so ungraceful as I battled with my tension-ridden body, but though I wasn’t any good at it, something switched within me. The stress I was feeling felt like it danced away as I followed this book.
A year later, I decided to join a class. I’d been making many mistakes at home, but instead, I had never felt more alive!
Five years later of lessons I decided to go to Indian and train as a teacher. Though I felt less stressed and my creativity flowed ( I manage to write two fiction books) until this point I had only been working on my body. I was later to discover that there was so much more to yoga.
The yoga training opened my mind to an expanded consciousness.
There was one point in the training that it felt like time stood still. From hating my time at the ashram, I changed to loving it. I didn’t want to go home. For around six months I stuck with the morning meditation and breathing that they had taught me. I was balanced and calm despite the fact my marriage at the time had ended. Then I quickly slipped back into every day life. I still did yoga and meditation but not to the same deeply connected state. That though was to come back.
To cut a long story short, it wasn’t until about four years ago that despite all the yoga, all the sunshine I had to give to the world, that I realised after a time of self-inquiry that one thing that was really missing from my life was self-love. The thing is with yoga the physical practice is just one branch of the eight limbs.
Non-violence also extended to myself
I was violent to my soul by dating men that didn’t have my best interests at heart. So I dug deep, dropped attracting that which didn’t serve me, and took to more meditation, more self-help, more digging deep. I got to know myself well and decided to marry yoga forever and then quickly met the guy of my dreams. A balanced, calm and deeply spiritual man. Self-love had worked!
So how did yoga change my life forever and what has any of my story have to do with you?
- I replaced stress with stretch. I found through doing the yoga poses I was more able to connect with my body and hence be more present. The poses though work on the mind, body, and soul and can instill peace, give energy when needed and improve even the function of the internal body. I consider yoga a gift!
- After much reluctance, I began to meditate. This helped me see life more clearly, feel more connected and helped reduce my stress and anxiety. I realised my reluctance to do meditate was my mind trying to keep me small.
Exercises are like prose, whereas yoga is the poetry of movements. Once you understand the grammar of yoga; you can write your poetry of movements.”
― Amit Ray
Inspired by yoga, self-help books, stress, anxiety and my own journey, I am bringing to your this summer an amazing Happiness course. It will help you to implement positive changes into your life. If you want to hear about this course and get my newsletter, signed up to my newsletter and get a free meditation guide and online yoga class.
The Word Sprite
Ps, check out my amazing yoga book!