Thinking Back… (Reflections of My Yoga Path)

Although I have been practicing yoga on and off for about five years, I never knew the proper techniques or little tips to fully get into the pose safely and steadily.
I never knew that even in a downward-facing dog position, you could be overstraining your elbows.
It is only from my time in Tirisula that I discovered I have a slightly hyper-extended elbow, something that could lead to eventual joint paint had I continued to work on it, instead of working on my muscles.
Indeed, these four months have been like no other yoga journey I’ve had. As a fan of modern power yoga, I thought I had seen it all. However, the first week was nothing short of tiring, yet amazing. The feeling of being pushed beyond your limits, watching yourself grow stronger and more flexible, really gives one a sense of empowerment.
I’ve come from being unable to close the gap between my belly and thighs in a forward fold, to reducing the gap to a marginal distance.
With the help of hypnosis from my classmate, I have also been able to overcome my extreme fear of being upside down and falling. With that, I am now able to bring myself up in a headstand(though against a wall), without feeling overwhelmed, something I have never been able to do. This is important as I can focus on engaging the muscles and balancing, instead of trying to psyche myself to get into the position.
Every one in class has been of a great help in one way or another, be it through mental or physical encouragement.
I started doing yoga as a form of exercise, even though I was never really interested in the beginning. It was only after a while when I started to notice changes in my mind and body that I started to enjoy yoga.
I could not do a single push up when I started out, and I could not even go any where near my toes in a forward fold. I have been suffering from morning sinus since young, and have frequent flu bouts and fevers, that have now almost completely been eradicated. But it is not just the physical change that is apparent.
A once negative person, my spouse has commented that I have become a much happier person over these few years.
This is probably due to the fact that the stimulation of all the organs, glands, and even chakras has created positive feelings (from hormones) and even energy changes (through chakras).
Had I known earlier that yoga had so much benefits, I would started out earlier. Still, I guess it’s better late than never.
Vanessa Kwa
YTT September 2017

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