Yoga – The Great Adventure

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”
I used to run & skip everyday, until my knees started feeling sharp pains. So I swam, until I got really annoyed at having to cancel once it rains, especially in the rainy season.
My yoga journey started plainly because I wanted a workout that was wasn’t suspectible to the weather, and didn’t need me to lug shoes around. I tried for a year in 2008, then stopped because the culture at that organisation wasn’t my cup of tea. Tried again in 2012, this time at a small boutique studio specialising in hot yoga, and fell in love.
It wasn’t until late 2013 that I started dabbling in vinyasa & yin classes, which spurred my interest in yoga further, and made me toy with the idea of taking a YTT someday. Switched to my current studio in late 2014, and it was there I met awesome teachers, learnt so much & improved leaps & bounds in the last 1.5 years of being at the studio for 3-5 sessions a week.
Effects on the mat has extended way beyond. What started as a purely physical workout, became something that taught me so much about myself. It taught me self awareness, it taught me self love, self acceptance, that I am beyond what I thought I was – I grappled with serious body image issues & eating disorders. The struggle to accept myself is very real, despite appearing confident. Every minute progress on the mat, even that 1mm shift that I can feel, has taught me that progress isn’t always visible to the naked eye. What matters, is not the inside. No one around you can accept you any more than you can accept yourself.
It definitely wasn’t easy, nor an overnight miracle. No, yoga is no miracle. You don’t feel zen after one yoga class or even after your 100th class. It takes consistent practice, some days you’re falling all over the place, other days you’re super focused, and it’s all ok. The mat doesn’t judge, neither should you.
2015 – I contemplated more seriously about taking YTT. Coming into class in January 2016, I was scared as hell, yet massively excited. Loved that it was a new journey, with new knowledge to grasp, to learn, to absorb. But I was almost quite sure I wouldn’t want to teach, I was only here for my own learning journey.
Now, 3 months on & at the end of our course, I might have changed my mind about teaching.
It has been a great learning experience, I enjoyed every morning’s practice session – this I will miss very much. I even started to enjoy what I had initially feared most – teaching. Yes, I still fumble over my words, my heart still thumps like mad while I try to sound calmer than I really am, visualising every move in my head as I instruct while trying not to have my eyeballs roll to the back of my head.
Gosh, this was harder than I thought, but with every practice I enjoy it a little more, to which I’m majorly surprised. It is something totally out of my comfort zone. The toughest part is allowing this enjoyment to take place, to not let the innate fear take over & resist the changes.
I know I’ve grown, I know I’m growing, though it can be tough.
Keep going, keep practising.
You’ll get there – have faith.
Faith Phang
200hr YTT (Weekend Jan – Apr)