My path to yoga
Coming from martial arts, initially I thought yoga was boring. Exercise needs to be sweaty, right? I realised quickly though that there is more to yoga than sweat, that it is a holistic practice for body, mind and soul. This is why my flows engage all these aspects, playfully, grounding and strong. I enjoy challenging asanas and have confidence that the mat and my sense of humour will be there for me should I fall. Better to try and fail than never to try.
Yoga invites us to be present, to consider what is happening in this moment instead of lunging from one thing to the next. This also applies off the mat: when I step back into my tightly structured daily life as a working mother, I try to be present in the now, to recall the flexibility of my body and to apply it to the mind. Sometimes with more success than others.
Yoga in and out of the comfort zone
Yoga for me is a special type of concentration. ‘When you are concerned with the breath within one posture, or one movement, your mind is in the present, which is where yoga wants us to be. Vinyasa as a breathing-movement practice is one breath and one movement at a time. To do one thing at a time is the hallmark of attention.’
And further: 'Indeed, many postures are not comfortable when we first do them, but one of the underlying purposes of yoga is to be able to do something that is challenging or uncomfortable in a calm manner, and observe how the mind and the nervous system are flexible enough to adapt to challenging situations without being thrown off. The world is not kind, and does not care whether or not we are comfortable or happy. It is up to us to create those conditions ourselves.' (Both quotes from ‘One Simple Thing’ by Eddie Stern).
With this in mind, yoga not only happens on the mat but also off the mat. Over the years, my body has become more flexible and I consider it a daily challenge to take that flexibility off the mat into my life.
And as in life, falling over is part of the game. You fall, you get up. And the mat will be there in case of a fall.