Yoga is no longer a buzz word, nowadays everybody and their mother does yoga. But it wasn’t always like that. Fifteen years ago yoga was still the new kid on the block. There was a vibe about yoga; real, simple and honest. In 2015, Yoga is reaching its saturation point and perhaps your thinking, “yoga just isn’t my style, it’s too commercial, too ZEN.”
I totally understand. My first yoga class was hell.
Back in the day, and I’m talking 1985, Pilates was IN. On any given day you’d find me hanging upside down in gravity boots. On one such occasion an Indian lady showed up and announced that she was offering a yoga class.
I actually can’t remember why I signed up, but I did. Turns out I was the only student. How embarrassing! I felt like an idiot bending and stretching in ways that hurt. She wasn’t like the nice bubbly yoga teachers we have today either. She was mean and precise. She barked at me and slapped my thighs. She was downright aggressive at times. I tried to slink out of there halfway through the class, but she strapped me into a chair. I couldn’t get away fast enough and was sure that yoga was NOT for me…
But life has a way of making other plans.
What to do when all your friends are doing yoga? Eventually you bite the bullet forget that first experience and give it a really good try. I still felt like an idiot, especially when it came to the relaxation part of the class, but gradually it worked its magic on me.
Imagine a candle being slowly sculpted into a flower. That’s how yoga changed me over the years. I can remember feeling challenged to go beyond limits, struggling to master some small detail and feeling warm and nurtured by the end of the session. The more I practiced the more I sensed something shaping me from the inside, something familiar yet indescribable.
Yoga begged me to explore things I only thought about in childhood? Questions like; why am I here? what’s life all about? what’s love? where’s happiness?
Everybody’s different. You might not be interested in all that woo-woo stuff. That doesn’t mean that yoga’s not for you. What’s so beautiful and exciting about the practice is that it’s not a one size fits all. There’s a yoga practice that’s right for you. Do you want to get fit and lose weight? Try dynamic yoga. Need to manage your stress? Check out yin and restorative yoga. Longing to increase your stamina? Why not experience the yoga of breath. Want to develop mindfulness? Explore meditation in conjunction with yoga.
Ultimately any yoga practice should energise you, promote a calm and balanced state of mind, and support you in responding to the challenges that you face every day in trying to manage your health.
And yoga’s the ultimate stress buster !
Having a low? Yoga teaches you to slow down your breath and stay calm. Heading into a high while juggling kids, work and your relationship? A simple yoga practice will soothe you back into balance. Feeling overwhelmed, burnt out and just wishing the whole thing would go away? Yoga supports you in releasing pent up emotions and allowing for greater compassion, empathy and awareness.
When you think about it yoga is amazing! But don’t take my word for it, I’m biased.
On the other hand…DO take my word for it. If someone like me can get diabetes in the first place then surely my yoga practice has been the one thing thats helped me to stay positive, relaxed and absolutely sure that I can have this disease and live a long and healthy life.
Want inspiration to practice more? Why not subscribe to my newsletter and be the first to hear about the Yoga for Diabetes Yoga Challenge– Simple practices you can do every day for health, happiness and wellbeing.
With great respect…. Rachel