Updated: Mar 30, 2020
I first went to a yoga class when I was 16 years old. After tea one night, my mum was heading to the class at our local gym, and I wanted to have a bit of a stretch after rowing so I thought I’d see what it was like.
I only remember snippets from that class; it was to modern music, I vividly remember doing Vrksasana thinking I was the abolsute yoga bollocks, I remember the teacher was really warm and welcoming, and made me feel so comforted and supported. I remember sitting in the front passenger seat of the car on the way home in the dark, feeling a few inches taller- literally and mentally.
When I was younger I was absolutely in love with rowing (I still am!) and so my yoga journey from start until about one year ago was pretty non-committal. Whenever I had more than one day off in a row I would search out a local class, or whenever I was on my annual three week holiday, I would go most days. Through rowing I had already found a love for movement and sport (that I definitely did not have when I was younger!), but yoga seemed to have a certain ‘je ne sais que' that intrigued me and kept making me come back for more.
Since I was little, I’ve been a very ‘type A personality’; I would always be looking for feedback in every area of my life and looking for ways to get better at things. This is great, I wouldn’t change it, but sometimes it’s absolutely exhausting. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t trying to get ‘better’ at my yoga asanas, but that has never been my reason for going to practice.
For me, yoga gave me a space where I could feel content with where I was right in that moment. No matter what mood I went in to practice in, I would always come out feeling soothed and calmer. My classes feel like a special place where I can love my body for wherever it is- even on days where it’s tired and I fall out of every pose, or it just wants to Savasana all damn day!
This, I feel, is the uniqueness of yoga. I desperately need my time on the river, or on my bike, or in the weight room, but I also desperately need to find the balance yoga gives my life. It’s healthy and fun to have activities where I’m always pushing myself and trying to improve, but it’s unhealthy to have this as the sole approach to my body. Yoga is the little wise owl that steps in during the week to give me a different perspective. Balance is your bestie.