This photo isn't of me (sadly), nor am I a yoga teacher so this certainly isn't a sales pitch. I'm a 49 year old woman who hasn't been able to touch her toes since ballet when I was 10. So why write about yoga?
I treated myself to a one to one yoga session at Easter. I was feeling stiff and my back often hurt from sitting at the computer for too long. I've had 4 lessons in all. Each time I have asked Ceri the Yoga teacher for what I needed; things to stretch my back, then some moves that I could do before bed to unwind and then last time some exercises to work my stomach and core. In between sessions with Ceri I have practiced every morning, and some evenings, just running through what she has taught me.
The process has been so interesting as I notice incremental changes in my life, and these aren't changes I am consciously making; these are changes which seem to just happen, as if led from within:
- I am much more in tune with my body - I can feel emotions in my body much more strongly and this has been really helpful feedback in situations. Becoming aware of my emotions as they impact on my body gives me really strong guidance about what is going on for me and how I need to respond.
- My posture is better - my shoulders are less often up around my ears and are more often down and back. I walk taller and feel more elegant
- My eating has changed - I'm not dieting or even thinking about what I eat, but I am more aware of what my body is feeling and needing and when I tune into this it has changed what I want to eat.
- I feel like I have more energy
- I feel calmer and more centered
- I can focus better- when I do some of the poses I notice that when my mind wanders, I wobble, and this helped me focus more in the moment and in my body
- My yoga mat feels like home - where ever I put it, it feels like 'my space'. I associate it with time to myself and feeling calm and so just putting the mat out brings those feelings to the fore
- I feel stronger - not just because I'm mastering some weird balances, but because I'm trusting my body and my intuition more
- My stomach feels flatter - I haven't lost weight, but I am using my stomach muscles more effectively
- I am more aware of when I am having thoughts from my ego or critical thoughts - they make me wobble. If I look at my shadow or reflection; I wobble. I am most balanced when I just focus on the muscles working in my body and forget about how 'well' I am doing something
- I have learned to take my time - I enjoy holding poses and feeling the stretch
- I am more flexible - I can touch my toes and it feels so good to flex and bend
- I feel happier - life has the same amount of ups and downs, but I feel more content and a deep level, less easily shaken by the storms
All of these changes have cost me under £100 in yoga lessons and a mat and they feel like they are lifestyle changes which are sustainable and long lasting. What's not to like.
Why don't you give yoga a try too?