Where It Began
I cannot define briefly how practice has shaped and changed my life. Though, my story helps explain. I first began my practice in Vancouver as a means to heal a muscle injury but ended up finding so much more on my mat.
Later in my practice I divulged into the side of my mind I had feared, the side holding me back from inner peace. Yoga is everything to me, it is who I am, and I truly believe I was meant to find peace in my practice so I can give back what yoga has given me.
I initially began my practice to heal an injury from a car accident. I was prescribed massage therapy, physiotherapy, injections and muscle relaxers.
Nothing helped, and I did not care for the poking and prodding I experienced in an attempt to heal. I was then recommended yoga by a friend who found relief in her practice. That is where my journey began. I practiced the physical side of yoga in unison with others.
No uncomfortable poking, only gentle encouragement from the instructor. After months the pain dissipated and I felt relief. My physical pain was gone.
I lost my commitment to my practice when my life did not go as planned. I fell into a dark place in my life and stayed there. Feelings of fear, self hate and anxiety swirled in my mind. I was a prisoner to my own thoughts.
It was the desire to improve my body image that brought me back to my mat and am I ever grateful it did. I hate to admit this; but I cried in many classes. I would look at the other yogis executing such strong beautiful poses while I wobbled and fell.
I would sink into child’s pose, tears running down my face, hoping no one would hear me sobbing. One day, amidst the tears I thought to myself, “what is crying doing for you?”.
That day I picked myself off the mat and tried and fell, and got back up and fell again until weeks later I was not falling. I was strong. I was beautiful.
In my practice I felt a shift in my mindset. I began to feel more confident that I could in fact achieve what I wanted. I recognized that each failure is a lesson. Every time I fell and got back up, I learned how to engage different muscles.
I applied this to my life and fear of failure left my mind. I began to feel proud of what my body could do. I felt gratitude when I first began to lift my knee of the floor to high crescent lunge. It was not perfect but it was progress.
My body, my vehicle through life became a temple and my self hate flew out the window. I began to feel responsible, and confident. I recognized that I am the master of my own fate. My anxiety and all my dark thoughts were soon gone. This lead me to taking a yoga teacher training (ytt)
So What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a tool for healing, both physically and mentally. There is so much to be learned about oneself through practice that, when applied to other challenges in life, can bring inner peace and allow for a truly improved quality of life.
We all deserve happiness and I’ve found myself prescribing yoga to all the ailments that weigh down the ones I care about. Yoga is healing. Yoga is connecting. Yoga is love.