Yoga... What is it? Who is it for?
Yoga is a practice. It’s not something you can study without actually practising it. It is different for everyone.
Notice this is under “Wellness” because yoga really does address your entire being. Mind, body, soul. It is not just a physical practice. It uses the body to access the mind. I genuinely feel that yogis are on another vibration. More aware of oneself, the universe, and are just more in control of their emotions which means they are in control of their life.
And we’re all a little coo-coo.
How I Got Into Yoga:
I never necessarily "started" yoga. Without knowing it my mum would give me poses to do. For example, if I couldn’t sleep she would make me get up, stand in tadasana (mountain pose) (she didn’t tell me this was a pose) and would explain about grounding my energy, then do other stretches/ poses, or would tell my sister and I to try and touch our toes to our head (in a backbend). Little did we know we were practising yoga poses because she did it in a fun way. Maybe when I was 13 or 14 did I start going to actual yoga classes. I think you have to be 16 to go to a hot class but I'm pretty sure I started at 14. I went with my mum and I’m sure she made a fuss so they would let me in.
You don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga. Flexibility is a bonus you get from continuous practice.
What Yoga Is To Me:
Yoga is a practice - a daily practice. It is a way to use the body to access the mind. I don't go to yoga for a workout, but more for my mind. It's hard to explain, but everyone should try it. You connect with other yogis on a different vibration. Not that anyone is better than one another, but I find people who practice yoga are a lot more aware of themselves, the universe, can manage their emotions, life is just a lot more peaceful. As a bonus you become strong and flexible! But that is not the main focus.
One thing that I love about yoga is no one is looking at anyone else. It is a practice with yourself. The only competition is you. Yes I still compare myself to people with a “prettier” practice. But for example this morning at the gym when I was stretching a man said to me “show off” and I can honestly say I don’t stretch to show off… I stretch because I love it. I am doing it for only me. At yoga no one would ever say that. If they say anything it would be either “great job”, “beautiful practice,” or “how do you do that?!” etc. It’s a completely different approach to life.
Teaching is wayy different than ones personal practice. It is challenging and a beautiful ability at the same time. You need to organize the sequence in a way that flows, is challenging although not too easy, does not discourage anyone or is not boring, and providing variations is necessary. You are able to bring what only you can offer to the table. People will vibe with you and some won’t and that’s totally ok. You may be determining whether someone practices yoga or not if you're their first class. So being kind, and clear. Being able to feel the energy of the class - deciding if you teach in a more traditional or westernized style. Really just being authentic.
The best thing about yoga is you can never be too young or old, not too tall or short, and there is always a way to make it harder or easier. It works on strength, endurance, balance, is amazing for your organs, learning to use your breath, and to control your mind/ thoughts. I genuinely do not practice for my body but for my mind - I notice when I am a lot more stressed I realize I missed yoga that week/ had not been practising. It's probably one of the only hours in the week that I am almost fully present in that moment, not looking at a clock or my phone, no distractions etc.
During my teacher training my teacher had read the quote “Nothing to prove, everything to share.” I thought that is exactly it but not everyone sees it like that. Which is fine. That’s the way life is. But yoga really is a humble practice.
What most people don’t know, including myself before I did my teacher training, is the entire philosophy behind yoga. There is so much history to it! I really can’t reiterate it clearly since I am still fairly new to that side of it all, but I wanted to touch on how in-depth the “practice” goes.
Give it a shot, try a class, I swear no one is going to judge you - get out of that mindset and stop limiting yourself. It is such a beautiful community to be apart of.