My yoga journey

When I first heard about yoga, I was 18 years old.  During the school holidays, I was browsing  at a book store when a book on basic yoga poses caught my eye. I bought the book out of curiosity.

I attempted to follow the instructions in the book. Yes, attempted is the apt word. I was all over the place. The illustration made thing easier, thank goodness.  When school reopened, schoolwork was overwhelming and the yoga book was kept away.

After finishing my tertiary education, I found a job. In order to progress further in my career, I enrolled for a part time professional course. Due to the stress of juggling the demands of the first job and the rigours of the syllabus in the professional course, I contracted hyperthyroidism – not life threatening but a wake-up call indeed

At this point of my life, it dawned upon me the benefits of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I went running to keep in the pink of health. Some years later, I signed up for a fitness club membership. Aerobic classes were my favourite. However, after the classes, I felt tired. It was unsettling.

I then decided to try yoga. My body feels relaxed after the yoga class. This works. Twice a week yoga classes became my regime.  At the same time, I started to attend meditation classes.

At some point in my life, I caught the distance running bug. Five-km runs became 10km. Naturally, I progressed to a half-marathon. I finally decided to take the ‘half’ out of the half-marathon a couple of years later.

Whilst training for the marathon, I incorporated yoga exercises. The yoga poses that stretch the muscles before running benefited me as I did not experience any muscles cramps during the race. Many first-time runners do suffer from cramps especially if they did not put in the distance. The breathing techniques that I picked up from yoga helped me to regulate my breathing during the marathon. After all, it is a long long run. Yoga exercises also kept me injury-free. This is especially important – ask the serious runners. The meditation classes also taught me to be more aware of my body and thoughts during the race. These helped me to complete the marathon in a respectable time.

After the fitness club membership expired, I attended a basic and subsequently an intermediate yoga course, where I was introduced to pranayama, a breathing technique. I was interested to deepen my shallow knowledge of this ancient practice. I started reading and researching.

I began to practice yoga regularly, four times a week. After two years of the course, I carried on by my own.  However, after some time, I felt that I was not progressing. My progress plateaued.  There is still a lot that I have not learned. So I signed up for various yoga classes organised by different organisation and taught by different teachers.

Soon an idea started to manifest –  someday I will travel to India, where yoga originated and learn from the Guru.

There was a pause for three years. Work and family commitments took centre stage. This stage has finally passed.

I signed up for this Yoga Teacher Training Course to continue my yoga journey.

Hong

200 hrs YTTC Nov/Dec 2014