The first time I stepped into a yoga class was almost 15 years ago when my mom suggested we go for a trial session together. I recall that it was a hot yoga class and boy, was that tough! I am not a natural athlete and had zero flexibility – I struggled to touch my toes for most of my life. Yoga had presented itself as a challenge and I was ready to take it on! While I gained strength and flexibility over the years attending group classes, I had no understanding of each pose and only viewed yoga as a form of exercise. As time went by and life got busy, I gradually stopped attending yoga classes and ventured into other types of physical exercise.
The first time I got injured doing yoga. It was during the time when I was trying to teach myself inversions at home. I fell and fell and fell over. But till today, I’m not sure what exactly happened for me to end up with a broken pinky finger and a broken toe over the span of about 2 months. Looking back, I now recognise that pushing myself to my limits and beyond is not the right way. It didn’t take long for me to come right back into yoga but the experience had given me more fear and less confidence. I’m still working on overcoming my fears but for now, I’m focusing on the journey and not just the result.
And you ask, “What if I fall?” Oh, but my darling, “What if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson
The first time I went for an Ashtanga class was after I first heard of “Ashtanga”. A girlfriend of mine shared how she enjoyed Ashtanga Mysore classes and that piqued my curiosity. Earlier this year, I went for my first Ashtanga class and it was rather intimidating seeing how I was the only beginner there. I ended up turning to yoga videos and followed along with teachers online. After getting a hang of the sequence, I started attending the Ashtanga classes at Tirisula and thankfully, there was more guidance this time round. The practice remains to me a mystery I hope to slowly unravel.
The first time I ever considered signing up for YTT. Yoga has benefited me in many ways, from the simple fact that I can now touch my toes (!!!) to the precious me-time it gives me for self-care and reflection. Working long hours stuck at a desk, I found that doing 2-3 sun salutations back at home helps provide relief for the stiff shoulders and back. While I had been “practising yoga”, there was always this nagging thought that made me wonder if I was doing it right. I thought maybe going for a course would help me understand proper alignment and how to avoid injuries. I might even be able to guide and properly adjust my loved ones for them to reap the same benefits.
The first time I took a leap of faith and signed up for YTT. So here I am, at the start of my journey. First 2 weekends done and dusted, another 8 more to go. It has been a truly humbling experience so far. My body is weary but mind is revelling in the thrill of anticipation of what else is to come.
Just to share something I’ve experienced: On the morning of the second day of YTT, this long-time migraine sufferer was dismayed to feel the onset of a migraine attack but after a session of Kapalabathi (Skull Shining Breath) and Murchha (Breath Retention), much to my amazement, my head felt clear and there was no more pain!
Can’t wait to learn more!