My Yoga Journey

Building an athletic body is not my aim but I do need some form of exercise to keep my body in good conditions. Once a week of golf game is of little help and time consuming. Not motivated to spending hours on treadmill. Got bored with monotonous to and fro swimming, I kept searching for the right exercise that I don’t need a partner, companionship. I can do it as and when I want to do it and it is within me. To be frank, Yoga sort of came and gone. I wanted an exercise that makes me sweat and feel that I have a great workout. The impression was that – Yoga wasn’t that intensify to me. It is just a series of stretching exercise to me. I am not sure if the timing is right, I hit a hot yoga website locally here and it is where the whole journey of Yoga started.

Hot Yoga is intensive. Being in the hot room made your heart beat raise, made the body more flexible. Feeling nauseous and almost fainted in the hot room did not diminish my interest. I found it quite interesting with the 26 postures and in a hot room – feeling really workout with my sweated outfit after a long day in the aircon room. Perfecting the 26 postures will take time and Yoga to me then is just a form of Physical exercise. You don’t need any expensive workout machine.. Your body is the best. Use your body to build your body.

It was a very rare opportunity that I have to switch to a different studio due to work location and my journey of Yoga evolved. I got to learn about Yin Yoga, Hot Flow Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga. Yin Yoga is just too slow for me, Hot flow is just more intensifying version of normal hot yoga. Vinyasa Yoga is the one that make me feel a work out of my whole body in a different manner. There is no hot room that was my first contact with Sun Salutation. By the 2nd and 3rd round of repeated instructions, I started to pick up that there was a flow. Not sure what was that. After my first vinyasa class, I was having deep thoughts. If I knew the flow and sequence, I don’t have to keep watching and can be in the same pace with the class. I started searching for the flow – Sun Salutation A and B, the common posture names in Sanskrit and this kick starts the whole journey of wanting to understand the “real” Yoga.

I realized Vinyasa class is the least popular, most intensive and have the most advanced students. Given my desires to learn more about Vinyasa – I knew I could be the weakest students in that class, I just refused to give up. Expose to the different postures, hearing most the asanas, panayamas in Sanskrit and good laugh or frustrated with myself on some of the postures were the rough Vinyasa learning journey. Observing is the best self learnt strategy and some teachers are just inspiring helping new students like me. The continuation to search for deeper understanding of Yoga now become an interest of wanting to know who is the GOD that has created/invented such postures and how does the posture relate to the body structure.

I have gone through an evolution of Yoga within myself. I accepted Yoga as a form of Physical exercise prior to understand the truth of Yoga. Yoga is intimately associated with India’s culture and its most important religious traditions. Yoga connecting body, mind and soul. The yoga that I got in contact with has been “westernized” – focusing on the physical aspects of the posture. I interest arose and wanted to to backtrack to understand the “real” yoga and the root. Ashtanga Yoga which depends on the individuals’ own personal strength to muster the discipline of learning the eight limbs of practice. One of the main effects of Ashtanga Yoga is that it produced abundant amounts of body heat, which in turn provokes abundant sweating. This helps in detoxifying the body, a process necessary for the purification of the individual on the path to samahdi. Connecting your breathing with asana connect your mind and focus, which you will ultimately build up the physical and spiritual of oneself.

Looking at the non-athletic aspect of myself, I will probably never continue my Yoga journey if I have had started with Ashtanga Yoga. It is quite discouraging and disheartening if you don’t meet inspiring and compassion teachers which helps you to unveil your potential.

Looking back, I am thankful that I found hot yoga – which built my body flexibility and exposure to Yoga. Regardless of hot or Ashtanga yoga, there were things that I couldn’t explained but I witness the connection bit by bit, day by day of my Yoga learning journey from physical to spiritual consciousness.