First brush with yoga was during a one day free access in a gym 8 years ago, where we get to try dance class, aerobics class kickboxing class then we chose to attend our last class: YOGA. Thinking that was a good idea since we thought yoga is all calming and peaceful with gentle stretches so we can end the day with a relaxing class… How wrong were we! Tried as we did, my girlfriend and I giggled away because we couldn’t hold the pose after all the classes, our arms, stomachs and calves were trembling! Of course the yoga instructor threw us dagger stares and asked us to be quiet.
That wasn’t fun man, it kept me off yoga for quite some time.
I gave yoga a few more tries and it wasn’t as bad but nothing worth raving about. It was only this year that I made yoga my sole form of exercise, because the yoga studio was opposite my office i.e. no excuse not to go workout. I could go before and after work.
Before committing to yoga only, I did other exercises like jogging and dancing. But all these were putting a strain on my knees and ankle joints, especially the knees. A slight knee bend and I feel the pain. I had to take glucosamine (and I hate taking pills). Gradually I realise with continued yoga practices, my joints weren’t aching, I feel better as a whole and took less sick leaves.
Then I took up this 200 hours instructor training course, and it sounded really intimidating. This is only the beginning, and I’m glad I started this journey.
It changed me physically, I’m slightly leaner and if you squint your eyes more you’ll agree too! I have stronger arms from all that chaturangas. We must have done hundreds of it throughout these 3 months. In fact with correct breathing, controlled movements and corrected alignment there were lesser injuries.
It is the challenges of achieving small successes that makes it more appealing to continue, whether is it reaching your knees to your nose in plank position during warm up or successfully conquering the headstand. Previously I couldn’t do headstand ever because I couldn’t get over the fear of falling. And now that I can fall on my own, I don’t plop like a pile of pizza dough thrown from a height, I gently roll down and I feel so graceful.
There is also the courage to attempt a pincha and a handstand. Both of them seem so distant, I haven’t mastered both, but I’m still working on it!
I love the pranayamas, the anuloma viloma method make me feel calm. And there are so many more pranayamas to learn!
Yoga makes me excited to go for my workout. I also like the flow and the perspiration yoga sequences gave me. Those gratifying drops of perspiration on the mat….I’m going to miss that, normal classes just don’t seem to work anymore. What are you doing to me! =(
And also the friends I have made through yoga, likeminded people who just want to get a pose right, learn and encouraging each other throughout the journey.
Yoga made me overcome some of my fears, made me stronger… as to whether it makes me younger I’ll let you know in ten years. But of course, after practice there are always factors to make me lose my inner peace. The picture below says it all. But I’ll be working on that too *wink*
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Cui Ling
200Hr YTT Vinyasa Flow Weekend