10 free classes.
This was my entrance into the amazing world of Yoga.
These free classes were given when one signed up with Passport, a multi-gym membership app that was launched last June. My friend who had been doing Yoga consistently for the past few years asked if I wanted to attend a class together and I agreed. During the class, I felt as if I was doing the poses correctly with ease. Coming from a dance background, it was quite easy for me to mimic the poses on the surface without truly engaging the right muscles. I looked over curiously at my friend who was completely drenched in perspiration and there I was hardly breaking a sweat. At that time I thought: Was that it?
Although I was kind of disappointed with my first yoga experience, for some reason I decided to use the remaining of my free classes to try out classes at other yoga studios.
I was hooked.
I loved how the physical intensity of the classes really challenged you and how all that physical work led you to a deep sense of stillness, allowing you to truly experience yourself and your body for what it is. The more I did yoga, the more I started to experience the benefits of the practice both on and off the mat. Physically, I was getting stronger and more flexible, doing things that I never thought I would be able to do. It’s amazing how with consistency and discipline, you keep slowly improving without realising the inches of progress have moved you many metres ahead. It was a month before I did my first legit i.e. no body wave chaturanga and 6 months later that I finally held crow for a good 3 seconds!
I loved how yoga first showed me how little awareness and control I had over my body and then changed this by giving me a better understanding of how to use and control my muscles and work within the limits of my flexibility. I am always in awe of how much energy it takes to sustain a seemingly effortless pose, the undercurrent of strength flowing beneath the façade of stillness and calm. I look at all the graceful yogis and wonder if I’ll ever be like them one day.
Looking back I realise now that even though it was just a few months into doing yoga, somehow I knew this is something I would be doing for the rest of my life. Because every time I step onto my mat, Yoga teaches me to be a kinder, more compassionate person, not only towards others but also to myself. I went through a challenging period where I was struggling with many insecurities and constantly abusing myself with unkind words in my head. Because unkindness towards yourself almost always translates into unkindness towards others, I became an extremely difficult person to be around and pushed away the people who cared about me. Everything felt like it was spiraling out of control and I felt myself sinking into a deep dark abyss, trying but failing to get out. Through it all, I stuck with yoga and it helped me through the difficult times by reminding me that my mistakes don’t define me and to let go of past hurts and stop tormenting myself with ‘what-if’s and ‘could-have-been’s. Life is to be lived now.
I am thankful that somewhere along this journey I found yoga and yoga found me.