I first discovered yoga whilst in the small backpackers town of Pai in Northern Thailand. There was a free class one morning and I had always wanted to give it a go. I had no idea what I was doing, but I still felt I was benefiting, even if I couldn’t hold all the poses or hadn’t stretched in a decade! What I loved was hearing what each movement was doing for my body. How I was getting rid of toxins, opening different energy channels and giving my insides an amazing cleanse and stretch that it so deserved. I started to think of the ways in which I had been treating my body and how gratefull I should be to have everything working, to be healthy and have no problems what so ever.It was around that time that I started to reduce my alcohol in take, which let me tell you is a very hard thing to do in South East Asia when everything is ridiculously cheap. I just started to think more of my body as a my friend and realized how little respect I had been treating it with. This first yoga session changed the way I thought about my body as separate to actually realizing how much mind and body are connected.
Whilst travelling around New Zealand the month after, I started an 8 week Mindful Meditation which helped clear and cleanse my mind, and I was proud of myself for looking after my mind and body. I have been doing yoga once or twice a week since then for 6 months, and I love how much I can see the improvements I am making, but more importantly how amazing I feel afterwards.
I feel less stressed (yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol), calmer and more relaxed (related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate), I sleep so much better and I feel I have more energy ( helps with fatigue). My immune system has definitely boosted and I feel it massively helps with my anxiety. It feels amazing to have positive energy rushing through my veins after getting more oxygenated blood transferred to my body’s cells and improved circulation.
Learning to focus on my breathing during meditation and yoga, helps to remind me to live in the present moment. By learning to improve our breathing we can improve our lung functions and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body. During yoga I would never say I feel pain, however the uncomfortable feeling I sometimes get in poses that may burn a little or require me to breathe through the pain, teach me to sit with it and hold on patiently. Much like life- the uncomfortable times will pass by, just focus on the present moments.
Yoga transports us into the now and we let go of the past and the future. It’s just you’re mind, spirit and amazing body holding you while you’re using every muscle in your body and increase your strength from head to toe . Yoga motivates me to take life head on like I do all the poses, trusting my body and feeling thankfull for all that it does for me in life. Yoga has made me kinder, more patient and have more tolerance. I am constantly reminded during my practice , not to rush through life, but to take my time, living in the moment while stronger each day.