I only came to yoga about seven years ago after some very nice chap decided to hit my car with his. It turned out that he was doing me a favour, it just didn't feel like it at the time. After I had finished with the physio and was going for massages to help ease of some of the damage, my masseur recommended that I attend a yoga class. She said it would do me the world if good as I was damaging my other side while compensating the one that had been hurt
Like many people, I thought that yoga was the art of flicking one leg behind your ear and didn't much fancy the sound of that. However, she was adamant and did have me at her mercy on the massage table, so I agreed.
A friend recommended a class in my village and I now realise how very fortunate I was for this to be my first experience of yoga. My teacher is fabulous, she makes yoga accessible, interesting, therapeutic and fun - I know, who would have thought the placing my body in strange positions (asanas they're called 😊) would be fun? But I LOVE it!!
It turned out that I like many had completely the wrong idea about yoga. Being able to get one leg behind an ear was neither a requisite or necessarily very good for me. Instead, it's all about listening to my body, going within and communicating with my higher self while using my breath to join body and mind.
That all sounds very far out and hippy like but actually it just gave me a deeper insight into my existing meditative practice. Yoga is mindful movement.
I practise yoga daily, even if it's just a couple of rounds of salute to the sun in the morning and despite now being a yoga teacher myself, still look forward to my weekly class where I can fully immerse myself in the meditation of movement with the breath.
I'm very keen to dispel the image that yoga currently has of contortionists practising in front of waterfalls as the norm. Not that there is anything wrong with this and who wouldn't want to be able to do that? It's just that this is unlikely to ever be a reality for most of us and that's ok.
We all benefit from the regular stretching and focusing on the mind body connection and whether you have your toes touching the floor or tucked into your thigh when performing a hip opening position has no relevance to the hip being opened.
I think it's important to state that yoga is not just an exercise class. It's an holistic practice designed to improve our physical and mental wellbeing and it should be affordable, accessible for everyone and safe. Yoga is a practice for living, a promoter of health and an opportunity to retreat from the pressures of everyday living.
Go on, give it a go. You'll love it!!
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