My Yoga Journey
Everyone who practices yoga regularly has a yoga journey. Mine started with severe scoliosis. My spine looks more like an ‘S’ rather than an ‘I’ which means my whole body is out of kilter. This has meant daily back pain ever since I remember.
In an attempt to relieve my pain, I spent a fortune on chiropractors and massages in my 20s and 30s. They felt great but only provided brief pain relief. During this 20 year period, I also had an on /off relationship with yoga. Wherever I lived, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the UK, I would attend yoga classes but after some time I would always find a ‘good’ excuse to stop.
It was only when I was pregnant with my second child at 39 that I said, “enough is enough. I refuse to live with this daily pain any longer.” Little did I know yoga would help me in other areas of my life.
After attending weekly classes for some time, the daily back pain I had endured for 20 years disappeared (despite being pregnant). This had an extraordinary impact on my life. I felt physically free for the first time in 20 years. Since then, I have strengthened the muscles around my spine so my back has now become one of my assets on the yoga mat. This of course does not mean my S shaped spine has straightened. It just means I have to practice yoga regularly to keep the pain at bay.
After some time on the mat I also started to feel content and serene in my everyday life all year round. For someone who suffers from S.A.D, this was truly extraordinary. For months every year I had felt low, lethargic and irritable during the long English winters. Now when winter approaches, I know I have to practice a little more yoga than usual which will save me from falling into a deep slump for months.
Yoga in my life today
In 2017 I gave up my full time job teaching and managing in universities and now focus on yoga. These days stepping onto my mat and synchronising my movements to my breath allows me to temporarily block out my hectic everyday life, still my mind and find peace and vitality at the same time. Then when I step off my mat, this peace and vitality help me to more deeply connect with everything in my life: kids, family and friends, responsibilities, nature, my urban environment and my surroundings.
To others it may look like you are simply doing some stretching, but you will find the more in touch you get with your body in yoga, the more in touch you get with yourself. You see some of these bizarre looking poses slowly and subtlety teach you to trust yourself, build your inner strength and listen to your inner voice. This part of me had gone into hibernation since becoming a mum. Through yoga I discovered the stronger I became on the outside, the stronger, calmer and less reactive I became on the inside. This of course impacted on my relationships positively. I became happier so those around me became happier too.
Yoga has changed my life and I have seen how it has changed the lives of so many around me. Why not give it a go and see how it might change yours.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.