My natural transition from Gymnastics to Yoga

My name is Elsa. I am 28 years old and currently training to become a Yoga Teacher in Singapore. I have been practicing Yoga for almost three years now.

I have been a Gymnast for ten years, from the age of eight to eighteen, years old, training 10 hours a week. On top of that I competed in around 10 competitions every year as well as weeks of training during holidays. It was my passion, and it brought me lots of happiness. I had to quit Gymnastics when I started university. I couldn’t maintain this 10-hour a week rhythm.

For the past ten years I tried many other activities. Classical dance, which I used to practice when I was a gymnast as both disciplines are complementary. I also tried badminton, running and fitness. I like them all but nothing would drive me as much as gymnastics. It was so frustrating not to practice with your heart.

Ten years after I stop Gymnastics I discovered Yoga as I moved to Singapore for work. I started to practice in a fitness center. It wasn’t like a revelation at the beginning but for the first time in a while I felt that this had so many similitudes to my previous Gymnastics practice that it felt very good and I continued for a year at the same place. 

Slowly, I started to like it more and more as Yoga made me recover from injuries I had accumulated during my years as a Gymnast. My trapezes became relaxed and smooth, I started to reduce the number of twisted ankle I had to deal with regularly and I didn’t feel pain anymore in my lower back. 

I wanted to know more about Yoga and its effect on my body so I decided to start practicing in a studio focusing only on Yoga. I attended workshops and went to Yoga retreats. Yoga started to take an unexpected scale in my life.

Now that I know a bit more about Yoga, I realize this would have been very useful for my Gymnastics practice. This would have avoided most probably some injuries and would have helped working deeper in some postures leading to win more competitions. Most competitions are lost because of stress and psychological issues that can be reduce with Yoga practice. Not only because I strongly believe that it would have improved my practice but also because Yoga is a great support at work, in relationships, for health and link you to nature and spirituality. I realized Yoga is on and outside your mat! 

Today, I want to become a Yoga teacher, as a hobby. Maybe I will like it so much that I will quit my job (I shouldn’t say that!) and do this as a full time job. To me the wish to teach is the extension of the practice and evolves with time. 

Sometimes I feel I should teach Yoga to high-level sportsmen, to improve their disciplines. I would like to share my knowledge about Yoga to people who don’t know anything about it. Especially I want to focus on alignment in poses in order to balance bodies destroyed by practicing too much sports. It would be the most natural transition for me to reconnect with my previous passion and bring a new vision to this discipline. 

By Elsa Gobet

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