With the popularity of yoga increasing as more and more people come to it for a plethora of reasons, here I share what brought me to yoga.
I had just started university in Brighton. It was my first time living away from home and I was excited by the whiff of independence and a new chapter in my life.
The previous chapter had been dark. I lost my father at 13 and with his passing I lost myself, my light, my innocence and my adolescence. While peers were enjoying the advancement of childhood, coming together, having fun, deepening bonds. I retreated, too frightened to come out and take part. Left with the tangled mess of emotions of grief to deal with. A task so overwhelming that I disconnected and slipped into a deep depression. I didn’t want to be here.
Moving away from that period, physically, gave me the momentum to move away from it mentally and emotionally.
When I saw the flyer for yoga, I got excited. I can’t say why something I had never done before and knew little about appealed to me but it did. I had long suspected I was a ‘hippie”, not knowing another word for an interest in the natural World. I now know it to be what we deem “Spiritual”. Although this is not a label I affix to even now, but more on that some other time.
I remember that first class. I went with my brother. It cost £2 (it was the early 1990s and we were students). We sat in a circle. I felt a sense of peace which I hadn’t felt before. I felt light. I felt a sense of connection I hadn’t felt since my dad’s death. It felt like I was coming home.
That was it. I returned the following week and the week after and the week after that…. I write more about that initial experience in the About Me section.
Whatever the form of yoga (Power, Vinyasa, Yin), whatever form I need it to be at a particular time, it gives me a return to Self. It’s with that return that I feel safe, I feel peace and I feel strong. I do it for me in whatever way I need it to be. If I need to find strength, I’ll challenge myself with vinyasa. If I am being too hard on myself I find space in yin to let go and find acceptance.
Yoga has changed me. It has shaped me physically, mentally and emotionally. That change, in me, has transformed my life. It helped me untangle those messy (and complex) emotions of grief. It helped me move through limitations enabling expansion, helping me see my Self, connect to my power and find a greater acceptance for all that is.
Yoga is more than just physical movement, it’s a way of life, that has the power to transform you.