I joined this Yoga TTC with zero experience in Yoga, driven by the misconception that I would be able to do inversions without the need for strength. Ever since I was young, I loved the idea of doing crazy stunts such as forward flips, and after following a Yogi on Instagram who posted photos of herself doing inversions almost everyday, I decided to join Yoga.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
After the second day of practice, I was beyond exhausted. My limbs were wailing in pain and I flew into a rage on how I wanted to stop going for lessons. Nevertheless, I decided against quitting as I didn’t want to waste the money that my parents had invested in me. Really glad that I made that decision because things got easier as the days went by.
I was placed in a separate class where the pace was slower and there was greater focus on building up our strength. Having not exercised for the past 6 months due to my schoolwork and examinations, my arms were flabby and weak, and I could hardly do a proper push up. My stamina was really bad and one Suryanamaskara A was enough to drain all my energy. However, with each passing day, I could feel myself getting stronger, both mentally and physically.
After the first week, I no longer had muscle aches after every lesson. I also began to fall in love with yoga. This daily practice helped made me more patient in life and I was also a calmer person. Yoga was no longer all about the inversions; it is the union of the body, soul and mind. After every practice, I could feel my stress and troubles being washed away in the cold shower, revitalizing me.
Ever since I young, I have this tendency of joining activities on impulse and quitting before completing what I was doing. In primary three, I was in Chinese Dance, the Track team, Pottery club, Chess Club, Aikido, Guitar Club, Drama club and the Library club. Yet by the time I was in the last year of my primary education, the only CCA I have yet to quit was Library Club. I always had an excuse on why I shouldn’t continue with what I was doing. However, yoga taught me that I had the choice to persevere too.
Due to my trainings in Wushu in my Secondary school days, a weird ball-like structure sticks out of my left wrist. This had hindered me from doing proper pushups with my left arm for years, as it would hurt to fold my hand back, resulting in a much weaker left arm. However in yoga, one of the main poses we had to do was the Chaturanga (something like a push up), and in the first few lessons, I gave up without really trying because I couldn’t take the pain in my left wrist and my left arm would crumble easily.
Nevertheless, the Chaturanga was a really crucial pose, and I knew I had to do it somehow. What shocked and amazed me was that after setting my mind to just try and do it, I didn’t really feel the sharp pain that used to come from folding back my left wrist. It was all in the mind! As the strength of my left arm build up over the next few weeks in yoga, my wrist became much stronger too, and it no longer hinders me as much.
Yoga taught me that despite the difficulties we may face in our journey towards something, we always have the choice of persevering and ignoring the excuses that form in our head.
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong
200hr Yoga TTC (Jan/Feb 2014, Weekday)