It is a pleasure to guest post Rose of From 2 to 3 Kids for today’s Freestyle Fridays. I have been following her blog for a long time and consider her a friend. After all she has been through, it gives me such happiness that she has awakened to the true practice of yoga. Enjoy!
For the first 39 years of my life, my experience with yoga amounted to:
- Reading about it being a gentle form of exercise.
- Hearing occasionally from friends that they liked it.
- Two classes I attended, several years apart, that didn’t really do anything for me.
You see, until now, I’d always believed that yoga was just too easy.
For me, exercise meant getting sweaty, moving fast, and feeling your heart race. Running was my go-to activity whenever I felt I needed to work on my fitness. If I didn’t finish a class, or a run, feeling like I’d spent every ounce of energy I had spare, then surely it couldn’t be doing anything, right?
Well, maybe not.
You see I’ve finally discovered yoga. I didn’t see it before, or maybe I just never needed it before, but there is a whole lot more to yoga than I ever gave it credit for.
Maybe it was my personal circumstances at the time, or maybe the time was just right, but all of a sudden yoga has become something I look forward to doing.
How did this happen?
Pure chance. I was lazily scrolling though my Instagram feed, looking at pictures of healthy meals (I like to feel inspired by other people’s healthy eating) and up popped a shared video clip of yoga teacher Kino McGregor transitioning from handstand into firefly. Kino isn’t a wrinkly old man, or a kind elderly lady telling you how great yoga is, she is a young, beautiful and exceptionally strong yoga teacher from the US. I was mesmerised. She was like an Olympic athlete. And she did this with just yoga?
I saw on her website that she had written a book, a personal account of her journey into yoga, called Sacred Fire. I ordered it and read it cover to cover.
And then I understood what I had missed.
Yoga isn’t just about exercise, it’s about the whole of you – your mind and your body.
Yoga isn’t just lying around doing breathing exercises. Yoga can be a strenuous, heart-pounding, muscle building workout that leaves you feeling tired but somehow better than before you started.
Next I ordered a DVD (because classes here are expensive, and I’m shy, and I’m stiff as a board). I got Tara Lee’s Earth Foundation practice and I’ve done it several times now in the quiet privacy of my home.
Yes, there is breathing to think about and yes there are quiet periods, but I’ve grown to genuinely love them in between the strange and challenging twists and stretches that make my body feel like it’s been taken out of cold storage and used properly for the first time in 100 years. When you are practicing yoga, it seems as though there must be a relaxation for every exertion. It is a slower, more considered form of exercise, that allows you time to be within yourself.
Each time I practice I light a candle.
It’s the kind of exercise I never, ever thought I would do, but here I am, loving it and trying to work out whether I really can commit to getting up before the children so I can continue practicing over the Easter holidays.
In a way, yoga found me at a time when I think I needed it the most.
And just as soon as I can hold a handstand like Kino, I’ll post a video on my blog ;-
I look forward to your handstand video Rose!! 🙂 Thank you for this awesome post about what yoga really is.
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