Yoga and CrossFit for me

My relationship with yoga was almost never constant. Me for the past few years, and even now, will not say yoga is my main form of exercise. I do CrossFit. A lot. Almost 5 times a week. I enjoy the fast-paced, strength work, heavy lifting, explosive movements in CrossFit. But the issue was, whenever I reach my peak fitness, I get injuries that will stop me from exercising for a few months.

 

The worst I had was persistent lower back pain. I knew it was serious when I suddenly wasn’t able to get out of bed. Went to the specialist and through a MRI scan, found out that I had a tear in my lower disc. I then took a break from heavy weightlifting for 3 months. After consultation with my physiotherapist, we found out that the reason for the lower back injury was because my hamstring, quad, and upper back was so tight and compressed that the tightness concentrated to an area, which was how my lower back compensated, to “allow” me to continue with all the heavy lifting at the gym.

 

I’ve never stretched after my workouts. I never did any form of stretching.  After 3 months of break from CrossFit and a lot of rehab work, I was given the clearance from my physiotherapist to resume my usual workout. I decided to start yoga again. It was the best decision that I’ve made in a long time! My body recovered quickly, I was energised, with no pain, and good strength and mobility.

 

Then, I got lazy again. See this relationship I have with yoga? When I reflected on this, I realised I first encountered yoga 7 years back and no matter what other forms of exercise I took up, I’ll somehow always ended up having yoga in my life again. This definitely means something! That was when I decided to take up yoga teacher course at Tirisula Yoga. All the Ashtanga practices with Master Ram and YY gave me another perspective on yoga. It is not only about stretching/flexibility. It is fast-paced, it is strength training, lots of heavy lifting (I mean me, I’m the heavy one), and I’m humbled by all of it. There are many poses that are still a challenge for me but I believe it will soon come to me!

 

All the yoga practices also improved my strength for CrossFit. My shoulders are so much stronger now that I was shocked when I went back to CrossFit class and did some of the movements that I previously struggled with. Yoga complements my current regime perfectly!

 

To any of you thinking you can’t do yoga because your whole body is tight/stiff from bodybuilding/spin/martial art/CrossFit, I am one great example that you should have yoga in your life! It complements and you will see definitely see physical improvements in yourself!

Control

It is the lack of control that frightens me.

In yoga terminology, I believed I had a rajasic mind – an overstimulated body, unable to keep still, and an anxious mind. I have never thought of myself as a perfectionist. But over time, I realize my need to establish structure and stability has heightened over the course of adulthood. Maybe for a long time, I have decided I have been cruising through life too much – lost in life at 19; the I-woke-up-one-day-and-decided-to-fly-to-Australia-for-two-years-with-a-student-loan decision because I thought leaving was the best solution to a happier life; the trip to the grocery store one day, with a budget of 20 dollars, felt like crap and walked in to get a job at a café. Those days, I drank too much coffee, to keep my body physically capable to do everything I thought I had to do.

There were also days I felt moody and lethargic, having a tamasic behaviour, causing me to make impulsive decisions, like waking up one day and telling my partner I’m taking a solo trip because I needed to be alone. Those days were the worst, because they were the days I lack purpose, demotivated to chase a shining future. I ate badly and lived on ready-to-eat food. I smoked and drank too much, thinking that the 5 minutes that cigarette will last is the 5 minutes my mind could be at peace.

Shifting from the two extremes was exhausting, not only for me, but also for the people around me, particularly family who couldn’t cope with the stubbornness, my then-partner, who had to live with my impulsive decisions and irrational moods. After a while, with all the hasty decisions and carelessness, I made a commitment to settle for something, for anything.

I made a conscious decision to settle on a career and to stay in Singapore. Being in one place allowed me the space to try new things for a longer duration of time. In my quest to find myself, I found yoga. For a long time finally, I felt I had composure.

I began my quest to eat more sattvic food, partly to lose weight so I can work on my asanas, but as I went along, I also began feeling healthier, more energetic and focused. I slowly transitioned towards cooking more. As much as I can, I avoided processed food, even bread and crackers, even if they were wholegrains, but I ate small portions of brown rice. I couldn’t avoid meat altogether but I switched to white meat and fish. I snacked with nuts, not on chocolates (though I snacked on 90% dark chocolate).

Suddenly, with the choice to progress and grow, I realised that the control I was searching for was within myself.

I cannot alter my external surrounding, I cannot will people for approval, my partner’s loyalty – in short, I cannot demand certain outcomes. That is the challenging part, isn’t it – accepting that some things are beyond dominance.

And with that, I leaned back on my office chair and drank my chamomile tea in big gulps. I then left the office much earlier than usual. I met a friend and had some good laughs, and made one conscious decision;

This time, I will breathe and let go.

 

Yoga Philosophy – lessons from the quest of finding oneself

I lost someone special to me when I was 19.

In my journey to recognising my true nature, I have come from being lost to reflecting deeply about every circumstances in my life. When yoga became part of my being, I find myself relating my life lessons to its philosophy. 

  1. Asanas, uniting my head with my body – Since the event, I started to question why I felt so lost for majority of my life.

I realised that I was restless and easily distracted. I have many likes, but I never stick to one. I have many plans, but I never follow through. However, I realised if I put my mind to it, I can truly accomplish the things I aim to do. Of course, my yoga journey was my starting point to finding , it came (still comes) with a sprained neck and aching wrists – at one point, a bleeding mouth. The improvements are immense though; I can feel that my yoga positions are sharper and my balance is better. I realise, that only through the acceptance of my multiple failures do I start to understand the techniques to get to the asana allows consistently each time. Which part of my muscles should I engage? Where did I engaged the last time I did the asana? How did it made me feel?

The difference between one who never gets to his destination to one who does is separated by a thin line – and to me, that is mindfulness, which is part of niyama, by always being conscious of our actions and their consequences, and that our choices are always ours. I, then, realised, that in the same way, I hold the key to my own grief.

2. Pratyahara, letting go of external disturbances disrupting one’s mind – Letting go is always the hardest. I find myself turning to physical “pleasures” like random shopping, spending days eating out with friends, overworking to keep the mind busy with no purpose.

The art of surrendering is perhaps a lifelong learning, but if I want to start really making progress in life, I have to cut back on doing things that no longer serve me. Clichéd as it may be, I began to believe there’s a reason for every circumstances. Later, we’ll understand why, sometimes, never, but circumstances always mould us in certain ways, and in what way is a conscious choice. Acceptance of past hurts allows me to detach from all the meaningless habits, and instead reflecting on what to be thankful about each day, allowing me to cultivate an inner bliss that is more permanent.

Perhaps, the greatest lesson I have been trying to learn and finally understood is that one can keep fighting for things, but certain circumstances do not change because one fights. Sure, it shows effort and sincerity, but it also is a sign of desperation. Sometimes, letting loose will allow things to work out on its own – maybe the consequences are not to our favour at times, in my case, I had no chance in fighting against the nature of life, but there is always lessons to be learnt and we end up better people.

My journey towards enlightenment is far from over, and perhaps I will never achieve it in this lifetime. But in my quest, I am learning to give myself up for a higher purpose, to quieten your mind and focus on moving forward.  

 

 

Yoga & Me

Have been practising for years. When I just started yoga for fun and health at the community club. Never have i come to think that, i will practice it for so long or even to the point of taking up TTC. Through the years of practice, i started to realise the change in my body. It has been my times that my friends highly encouraged me to explore other studios to broaden my horizon. But I was hesitating. Came 2020 where the covid started, that year is a turning point for many people. Including myself. Since then I have been working from home and more time to spare. I started again to explore other yoga studios, accidentally came across Tirisula yoga studio whereby they offer some courses. I was thinking, why not gain some knowledge since I have been practising for a while. So, I tried the short course before I hit the TTC, surprisingly I enjoyed it very much during the course, i had gained new knowledge on yoga and the benefits and knowledge was amazing. These had re-confirmed me on my choice, yoga to me is not about how wonderful one can do in asanas, it’s about the balancing your mind, body and inner soul. And practising the yoga philosophy towards yourself and others. Gradually, I do realised that I had overcome some fear and mentally strengthen myself.
My close friend highlighted to me that she can sense the change in my inner self. She liked the changes in me and that kept me want to practice more and spread the spirit. Loving yourself is important so why not let go of little things in life…..and continue to practise.

 

 

Something Fun, Be creative

We are having fun and crazy ideas of what we can do next!!! Not just for earning, but also help to contribute back to the community.

My friends came asking me, what I can contribute.?? That is where my idea came about to conduct some classes.

Opening a café cum yoga studio that sells take away coffee and some pastries was one of the ideas, with few benches for students who wants to mingle after the practice. It will only be operating from 8am – 4pm where we can still have work life balance. Portion of it will be yoga studio, where I can practice, perhaps teaching, renting the space out or even giving out free yoga lesson once or twice a month. And decide to take one of the days earnings and donate to the orphanage.😃

When I spoke to friends about yoga, to them they thought yoga is a female sport where they wear sport wear and do simple poses. Seems so easy, and after explaining to them some of the Mudras, Chakras, Pranayama. To my surprise they are very interested to know more about it and change the perspective how they look at yoga.

As most of them are working in the office for long hours. How this can improve their health and posture? After we practice on the mat, they realized the need to engage the core muscles of the body to corporate and coordinate the flow of the breath with the poses, to do a “simple looking pose”. And, the breathing technique that is something new to them. Never did they think that breathing can be something that you are born with, can have so many techniques and benefit to our health. So, this inspire me wants to learn more so that I can share the knowledge.

 

 

 

My yoga journey

A life-changing practice

What was your first impression of yoga? When I first started yoga, I took it as a leisure activity that moved my body with some stretching and balancing poses. Nothing too physically demanding or aggressive. This was just nice for me, being a couch potato, who never liked doing any kind of sports. Nonetheless, I am kept being reminded of how a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risks of getting chronic diseases. Therefore, I am so thankful to have found yoga as my go-to exercise in my early twenties.

I like the soothing effects of the simple stretching and twisting poses on my body, the training of focus that brings me the mental and emotional steadiness when practising balancing poses, and how I become more relaxed during each yoga practice. As I progress with my practice, my body becomes more and more flexible. Moving on with more difficult poses, I sometimes ask myself if I am doing the poses correctly to get the benefits out of my practice?

Yoga is not all about the poses. I remember how I enjoyed my first pranayama practice as I managed to unblock my nose with the alternate nostril breathing technique, bringing me a smoother breath and a calmer mind. I remember how I was impressed by the Shanti Mantra when I first heard of it in a yoga class. It was a beautiful chant with the subtle vibration in the air.

Soon, I realized I want to learn more about yoga. I want to learn the correct alignment to prevent any injury and maximize the benefits as I hope to practise yoga for the rest of my life. I also want to learn yoga as a whole, not just the poses, but also the fundamental anatomy knowledge and spiritual aspects. With a leap of faith, I signed up for the 200-hr yoga teacher training course in Tirisula Yoga. Before the training, I was so worried about it as I never learnt headstand and any arm balance poses before. Now, we have come to nearly the end of the training and I know I won’t regret of my decision to join the training. The course has been a holistic personal development that works on my body and mind.

Throughout the training, in order to strengthen my body, I have become more self-disciplined to do body workout. Instead of only doing the exercise during my free time, I will make sure I have spared some time to work on my body daily. I also make time to do meditation and breathing exercise at home in order to reap the benefits from consistent practice. The yoga practice has also increased my self-awareness to maintain a good body posture, manage my facial expression and control my eating habits.

In the past, I always avoided practising  inversion pose as I was not used to going upside down and I did not see any benefits of doing so. On the first day of the training, we were asked to do headstand. I am glad I get to learn this beautiful pose as it teaches me lessons more than just going upside down. I have learnt to let go of my fear. Taken from our studio motto, ‘The body achieves what the mind believes’. Sometimes, we just need to let go of our fear and push ourselves out of the comfort zone to overcome the challenges. If you think your body cannot do it, you will easily give up after a few attempts. If you think you can do it, nothing from your mind can hold you back and you will become so determined to turn your body upside down.

Having said that, there were physical limitations that I had to overcome in order to do this pose. I realized my core was too weak and I never learnt how to engage my core. For this, I have focused on abdominal workout to strengthen my core. By learning how to engage my muscles in headstand, I get to control my muscles in this unusual position of going upside down. Together with the controlled breathing we learnt in our pranayama practice, this somehow gives me a sense of gaining control in life, especially during this difficult period of pandemic.

The yoga teacher training also greatly boosts my self-confidence through teaching. For someone who is not comfortable with public speaking, I am thankful to have this opportunity to get to practise teaching in class. By practising backbend such as camel and wheel pose, the physical action of opening my chest has somehow prompted me to mentally open my heart as well. I am more inclined to accept others and focus on bringing kindness to others.

Last but not least, I have also started to do a lot of self-reflection after learning the yoga philosophy in class. I started to think what kind of person I want to become. After learning the concept of ‘desire’, I started to find my motivation to work toward my goals. I also learnt the importance of keeping momentum in every aspect of our life, whether it is daily workout, meditation, or pursuit of knowledge.

 

With love,
Wei Li

How yoga improves my self-awareness

In yoga, we learn to pay our attention to the body when performing a variety of yoga poses, whether our back is lengthened or rounded, our chest is opened or collapsed, our core is actively engaged or relaxed, our hips are squared or slanted, our pelvis is tilted anterior or posterior, our feet are in a dorsiflexion or plantar flexion position, our fingers are relaxing or actively stretching, and where our eyes are resting. Practising yoga not only increases my body awareness for improved body posture, it also increases my awareness in managing my facial expression and eating habits. In this post, I would like to share with you how practising yoga has promoted my awareness in these three aspects which are so important in our daily life.

Maintaining a good body posture

One of my favourite yoga poses is wheel pose or alternatively known as upward bow pose. This deep backbend and chest opening pose allows the spine to be stretched backward, counteracting the usual hunched body posture. Most other sitting or standing yoga poses also require us to open the chest and lengthen the spine. After practising yoga for some time, I have become more aware of my body posture when I am walking or sitting in front of the desk. To keep a good body posture, it takes awareness to contract my back muscles for straightening the back and roll my shoulders back for opening the chest. Having a good posture not only makes me look taller, but also improves my confidence. Mentally, with the chest opened, I feel my heart is opened as well. I have learnt to open up myself more to accept others and focus on bringing kindness to them.

Managing the facial expression

How often do we pay attention to our facial expression when interacting with others? There was one time in a yoga practice, when being asked to relax the space between our eyebrows during the relaxation stage, I realized I had been frowning unknowingly for no reason. I also tend to blink my eyes excessively during public speaking probably because I am too nervous. Realizing facial expression which is a part of the body language can determine how people interpret us, I started to put more attention on managing my facial expression. Starting from relaxing the space between my eyebrows, I go on to relax my face, smile more and focus my eyes in one direction. I believe the facial expression also reflects our mental state. By managing our facial expression, not only this can make people become more comfortable to interact with us, but also regulate our emotions.

Practising mindful eating habits

Healthy diet and exercise go hand-in-hand to nurture and shape our body. Additionally, the yogic diet encourages sattvic foods which are foods that are eaten fresh and natural or lightly cooked for a clear and calm mind. I was so used to eating excessively hot and heavily spiced foods which can overstimulate the body and mind. I frequently experienced stomach discomfort and breakout on my face on top of the restless state of my mind. After learning about the yogic diet, I always remind myself not to eat so much spicy food and avoid stimulants of all kinds. For example, I will opt for an egg prata instead of my usual egg and onion combination for this delicious local dish. Most importantly, I consciously remind myself not to overeat. Due to the constant stress in my study and work, I had been overeating for a long time as I wrongly took eating as a form of self-love by feeding myself all the foods that I was tempted to eat and as a reward for my hard work. During the yoga training, I could literally feel the heaviness in my body when trying to lift myself up in certain poses. I have since made some changes to my eating habits to avoid overeating.

  • Slow down the pace when eating: This is because our brain needs at least 20 minutes to catch up with the status of our stomach. In the past, I always finished my meal in 10 minutes and looked for more small bites to fill my stomach. After I have consciously slowed down my pace when eating, I can easily get full after just one meal without additional foods.
  • Be aware of the way you check in with yourself after eating: After each meal, instead of asking ‘Do you still have room for desserts or small bites?’, I find it better to ask ‘Are you feeling full now?’. Surprisingly, the answer is always yes to me.
  • Think carefully before ordering food: It is always tempting to buy a set meal that comes with a main course and a dessert or some side dishes to get the best deal from the menu. After knowing that I may overeat from this action, now I will choose to buy only the main course first. I will buy the dessert later when I truly feel hungry after having finished my main course.
  • Know the body conditions associated with your appetite: I get most hungry when the temperature is cold, especially when I am doing paperwork in an air-conditioned room. I also tend to eat more if I don’t get enough sleep the night before. It seems like my body is trying to fill the energy gap from my lack of sleep by eating more foods to keep me awake. Therefore, to prevent myself from overeating, I will ensure myself getting enough sleep by going to bed early and avoid working long hours in an air-conditioned room. I also realized I don’t feel hungry easily when I am doing certain exercises such as yoga and Pilates. This is probably because my senses and attention are focused on coordinating the body movements but not the hungry signal from my body. Therefore, exercise is a good way to burn my calories and suppress my appetite to prevent overeating at the same time.

Having said that, it is also important to satisfy our cravings from time to time. The key is to not develop a habit of overeating as this can lead to undesired consequences on our health such as obesity and diabetes. Our demand for food also changes with our age and body condition. Therefore, it is good to consciously check in with ourselves every time how much food is truly needed by our body.

 

With love,
Wei Li

Making An Effort to Calm Our Mind.

Yoga Philosophy – What I’ve learnt

I have always thought that Yoga was a slow and peaceful exercise to test your flexibility.
I first tried a yoga class with a friend in Oct 2019 and found myself weekly going back to the mat. I have always enjoyed the release of tensions in my body and calming the chaos inside my head after each lesson. Bringing the attention to myself and being aware of the present. This “being present” speaks about Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal). Pratyahara is the fifth limb of the Eight Limbs Of Ashtanga/Raja Yoga.

  1. YAMA- DISAPPEARANCE OF ALL SUPPRESSIONS
  2. NIYAMA- FREEDOM FROM ALL OBSERVANCES
  3. ASANA- STEADY AND COMFORTABLE POSE
  4. PRANAYAMA- EXPANSION OF VITAL ENERGY, PRANA
  5. PRATYAHARA
    WITHDRAWAL OF THE SENSES FROM OBJECT AND SUBJECTS AND MOVING CONSCIOUSNESS INWARDS
  6. DHARANA
    MIND FIT FOR CONCENTRATION
  7. DHYANA MEDITATION
  8. SAMADHI SUPER-CONSCIOUS STATE

Practicing Pratyahara means to step back and examining ourselves. Withdrawing our senses to check our habits (eg. Simple things like slouching, not sleeping enough, over eating , drinking, smoking, focusing on the negative) that may be detrimental to our (mental) health and impeding our inner growth.

Sense withdrawal does not mean we switch off our senses but being present at the moment at hand, not worrying/anxious about the future, not easily distracted by the mind. Drawing the senses inward to bring attention to the inner world (ourselves) instead of expending energy exclusively on the outer world. For example, take our self-image, how we want to present ourselves to the world. How do I look? How do people see me? How do I want to be perceived? This kind of behavior exhausts a lot of our energy throughout the day. Being aware of how much attention we give the outer image and to reduce the energy wasted in creating it. Turn the focus inward we need to minimize outer disturbances/distractions, making an effort to calm our mind.

I wouldn’t say that I am completely good at being present and not distracted by the mind (or practicing Pratyahara) but I am still a work in progress. It is not an overnight recipe, it is a conscious effort and discipline to be better than yesterday.

Keep practising and don’t give up

Ah, the almighty backbend

Upward Bow Pose – Urdhva Dhanurasana

I still remember the first time I was introduced to upward bow pose during my Ashtanga Yoga class last year. Lying on my back, I tried to figure out the pose by observing other students. All of a sudden, the young lady next to me swiftly pressed herself all the way up and stayed firmly in the pose. The way she powerfully rose up and held the pose like a majestic mountain left me with astonishment until today. What a beautiful pose with the perfect curve of a bow shape! If you ask me what is one pose that embodies strength and flexibility, this is the pose.

Benefits of upward bow pose

As a deep backbend and chest opening practice, upward bow pose, or commonly known as wheel pose, is helpful to improve our overall health in modern life. With long hours spent sitting at the desk for work or study, we tend to lean the body forward, drop the shoulders and hunch the back. This can lead to undesired consequences such as bad posture, muscle tension, back pain and restricted breathing. While the good practice is to keep your self-awareness in maintaining a good body posture, practising backbend to stretch the spine in opposite direction proves to be a good way to counteract the hunched or slouched body posture. Not only upward bow pose can improve spinal mobility, it also strengthens the arms, shoulders, abdomen and legs. You can also benefit from the energy boost by practising this pose. Spiritually, by opening the chest, upward bow pose can help to activate heart chakra which serves as our center of love, compassion, empathy and forgiveness.

Anatomical movement and muscles involved

  • Hip extension and adduction
    – Stretch all the muscles in the front side of the body by eccentric contraction (i.e. lengthening) of rectus abdominis, iliopsoas and quadriceps
    – Strengthen all the muscles in the back side of the body by concentric contraction (i.e. shortening) of erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and hamstrings
    – Concentric contraction of magnus, one of the inner thigh muscles
  • Shoulder external rotation
    – Concentric contraction of infraspinatus and teres minor (Note: Tightness of subscapularis can limit this movement)
    – Eccentric contraction of latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major
  • Posterior pelvic tilt

How to get into the pose?

  1. Begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees perpendicular to the floor. Make sure feet are parallel and hip width apart. Bend your elbows and place your palms on the floor next to the ears with elbows pointing up.
  2. Press your feet into the floor and lift your hips up. Keep your thighs and feet parallel. Then, firmly press the hands into the floor and lift your shoulders up, leaving the crown of your head on the floor. Keep your arms parallel.
  3. Press your feet and hands into the floor. Lift your head up off the floor and straighten the arms. Gaze at your nose tip or in between the eyebrows. Stay in the pose for 5 breaths.
  4. To exit the pose, bend you elbows and tuck your chin into your chest. Slowly lower down your body. Follow up with a counterpose such as hugging knees to chest or seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana).

Tips 

  • Splaying knees and feet to the side will compress the lower back. To keep your knees and feet parallel and hip width apart, try squeezing a block between your thighs or pressing your feet against a block placed between them.
  • Engage your core muscles by lengthening rectus abdominis to create airbag for the protection of lumbar spine. This avoids hyperextension of the lumbar spine in backbend.
  • Aim to open your upper back more. Draw your chest towards the wall behind you. This allows the arms to carry more body weight to allow a leg to lift in one legged wheel pose.
  • Practise wheel walks to build the strength and learn to transfer the weight into one leg then the other.

Up for a challenge?

Here are a few options to advance and deepen the pose:

  • One legged wheel pose
  • Forearm wheel pose
  • Transitioning from wild thing to wheel pose
  • Transitioning from standing to wheel pose and the other way round by walking your hands down or up a wall behind you

Safety precautions

Practise upward bow pose at the end of yoga practice when you have sufficiently warmed up your body and opened your muscles.

Do not practise this pose if you have

  1. Injury with knees, wrists, shoulders, neck, or back
  2. Heart problems
  3. High or low blood pressure

My journey with upward bow pose

Although the pose may look intimidating for a complete beginner, I started to enjoy practising backbend after a few rounds of practice. Not only upward bow pose reminds me of the strength I have within myself, I can feel the beneficial effects of back bending and chest opening shortly after practising this pose. I am able to naturally come to a good body posture with open chest each time after practising this pose. This is much appreciated by someone like me who is so used to being in hunched or slouched body posture. The good effects stay beyond the physical body. Mentally, I feel happier and with the chest opened, I feel my heart is opened as well. I feel like letting everything come and go freely. Like the big sky, every cloud is free to come and go. The sky is big enough to accommodate anything that comes, but in the meantime, the sky is willing to let each of them go when they are ready.

As for my experience of practising this pose, I had trouble with keeping my knees and feet parallel before. As much as I reminded myself not to splay the knees and feet, I tended to point them out when I was lifting myself up off the floor. I only realized my problem after having looked at the photos and videos of myself doing this pose. I would suggest students to identify any possible misalignments in your pose by taking a picture or video of yourself in this pose from different angles. From the diagonal top-down view, you can clearly see if your feet and hands are parallel and in line with each other. From the side view, you can see if your shins are perpendicular to the floor and whether you need to straighten your arms more and push your chest forward more. From the diagonal bottom view, this is how you will be amazed at the almighty backbend standing tall like a mountain.

Remember, flexibility comes with consistent practice. 

 

With love,
Wei Li

Yoga: My journey to a happier life

I came to practice yoga in 2019 when I wanted to have a better health. At that time, my health screening result was quite bad and it took me to a point that I should do something to improve my physical health, then yoga came to my mind. I signed up for a yoga package later.  

I had been practicing yoga on and off from then until late 2020, I started to practice regularly and I saw some positive changes in myself – physically and mentally.

  1. I am healthier – this has proved by my job as an assistant to mural artist. When I have to draw at site, I tend to stand for long hours. Previously, I had painful back and legs every time after I finished my work, but now, I have no pain at all and I am not easily get tired like I used to be. I am more productive – it’s just wonderful!
  2. I love my body even more – with yoga, I can see improvement in my body. I become more flexible and stronger. With the regular practice, I am able to do some poses that I was not able to do before and I don’t have to compete myself with anyone, it’s just myself. It’s a kind of development that I can see in my body. Also, after yoga classes, I feel good to eat healthy food and I opt to eat vegetarian more often. I feel that my body is much lighter when I eat Sattvic food.
  3. My mind is clearer – I easily get stressed and yoga helps me to relieve stress and anxiety. Being mindful with the practice, it helps me to stay present and enjoy the moment. It’s a kind of meditation to me. Especially, when I came to practice Yoga Teacher Training, I learned more about alignment and when I practice with correct understanding of the alignment, I have more body awareness and the practice become even more mindful and joyful.    
  4. Lastly, I am happier and just feel I can achieve what I want in life easier. From yoga philosophy I have learned, maybe it’s just because I am contented and grateful for what I already have.

I believe yoga will continue to give more benefits to me, so what I can do is…KEEP PRACTICING.