It was mid 2014 when I just got out of an abusive relationship where he insinuated that I was never going to be good enough for him. My self-esteem plunged and I did not know what to do. I started taking care of myself less and I began putting on weight.
As fate would have it, in late February 2015, I got to meet a decent young man who epitomised the word “gentleman” in every sense. He led me back on track and suddenly, my world did not seem so bleak anymore. Fitness and health played a big part of his life and seeing him live the way he lived motivated me to get in shape, so I decided to join a gym.
The gym equipment looked like medieval torture devices so I stuck with the treadmill and elliptical, but it did not take long for me to get bored of it. The gym I went to offered yoga classes but I was hesitant in joining because I had the preconceived notion that yoga was just organised stretching. After some encouragement from my significant other, I finally decided to join a yoga class.
The very first class I went to was a hot yoga class and I nearly fainted. I remember the teacher teaching poses like astavakrasana and bakasana and all I was thinking was how I would never be able to do those poses. I was very unfit, weak, and inflexible so I could not do a lot of poses but for some reason, I really enjoyed it. I would go for classes 2 times a week, then that quickly became 4 times a week, and very soon I was practicing nearly every day. I wanted to have my own quiet space to practice yoga, so I bought my own mat and started my home practice. I would search for yoga classes on YouTube, look up for yoga tutorials on Google, and even just teach myself poses based on pictures alone. Eventually my practice progressed to a point where I understood how to create a sequence, and now I just show up on my mat and think of what to do as I am moving. Losing weight is no longer a motivation for me to continue practicing as I have already lost a lot of weight since then, but it is the immense bliss I get that keeps me going back to my mat. I can’t explain the feeling but it’s as if nothing else matters during those 90 minutes on my mat. I can toss aside my worries, fears and problems and just focus on synchronising my breath and movements while I’m practicing. When I come out of shavasana, I have to go back to reality and face my responsibilities like everyone else, but I always feel a lot more calm and focused, and more ready to tackle my issues. In many ways, yoga has improved my life. I am happier, healthier and more at peace with myself as compared to before. My yoga journey started out as a means to get in shape, but now it has turned into a full blown love affair.