Yoga and Me!

 

 

PhotoGrid_1494954054264

Wheel Pose

 

“Strong legs. Do not let your foot on your thigh dominate the one that is grounded” said the instructor. We were trying the tree-pose- Vrikshasana. How profound I thought! It is very simple- One foot is on the ground and the other on your thigh, the one n the ground should not be shaken or affected in any way. Just like in life, we can’t let an external factor affect us, we need to draw energy from within to stay strong and grounded.

PhotoGrid_1493684563335

It was one of those phases when nothing seemed to be going right. Something kept bothering me – physically and mentally. Top on the list was loneliness. I was just back to my bachelor pad after the wedding and my roommate had moved for good. I felt alone more so after being surrounded by family and friends for a month. As I kept wondering how to fight it, I came across an ad for Yoga classes around the corner, $30 for a month of unlimited classes. Why not try it?
I had heard and read some very positive things about yoga. How it engages you physically and mentally. And unlike many who might think it is pretentious, I like when people talk about compassion or being mindful. Though it might feel silly to hear the first time about listening to your toes or fingers, it made sense over time. So I decided to try and loved it. It was a safe space.

IMG_20170512_120149_208

After the first month, I started attending community classes. My yoga studio not just taught but embraced the values and offered $5 classes everyday for people in the community. So that was (in a way) my motivation – because paying out of my pocket $15/ class was not my kind of fitness. I am sure there are many out there who might agree with me.

I found myself feeling great after each “hot-yoga” session. It might be psychological but I remember wanting to smile or hum as I drove back home after classes even on really bad days at work.  The yoga instructors would talk about their day or discuss a quote or ask us to envision something and I found myself trying these out even outside of classes. Just breathing when anxiety hits me or taking a moment to accept and acknowledge my feelings before responding. Forgiving people or letting go of things more easily. In about three months, I knew this is a hobby that is going to stay longer.

IMG_20170516_103059

As I became stronger mentally I also noticed an improvement in my physical strength. I had never done any physical activity ever in my life. I had been weak and underweight most of my life. It dawned on me that physical strength is much much more important than anything else and it is never too late to build it, that made me want to push myself a little more every day. There is a sense of satisfaction in carrying four bags of groceries all by yourself or throw your 50 lbs suitcase all by yourself in the trunk instead of waiting for your Uber driver to help.

I made new friends who were like-minded, I met many new people and so the initial purpose of doing something to fight my loneliness was solved as well.

Yoga is fascinating and I have been spending time trying to understand its origin, benefits and how it has evolved over the years. I have had a very organic journey in the last one year and I thought I would share my story. A recent challenge on Instagram made me post pictures of my yoga journey, making a lot of people curious about yoga and wanting to try it.

PhotoGrid_1494955300575

In my next post, I am going to address some FAQs, doubts, and concerns one might have. If you have any questions as a beginner or as someone interested in learning please leave them in the comments below. You can follow my yoga journey on Instagram here.

Also, do tell me if you have had any similar experiences of how a hobby helped you in your life.

P.S. I stopped my #atozchallenge at L, I hope this post to be compensated for M-Y. That is why the title is Me and not I 😛

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Yoga and Me!

  1. When I was at a similar phase, it was again physical activity (for me it was table tennis) that kept me going. Exercise is indeed therapeutic !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are really good at it! Doing any kind of physical exercise is great and the fact that this also helped you mentally and emotionally is an added bonus! Also, now you’ll be one of the Indians who can teach someone else a yoga asana (referring to my post)! LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You talk of yoga with such reverence Janani! Although superficially, it is a means for physical and mental fitness, there is a divine radiance that’s bouncing off your piece here. I can picture the scenes of all that you’re describing here right in front of my eyes. Beautifully put down.

    I wish yoga worked that way with me, for I haven’t yielded that sense of serenity from the practice. Maybe, I have been looking in the wrong places, or I was too impatient. I switched to swimming, and I can associate with a lot of what you have said here when I take a dip in that blissful pool of water!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Madhvi! I think all of us have our own practice that gives us this bliss. My parents sent me to so many classes growing up, never felt anything like this. We should probably feel lucky to have found what gives us happiness (or something like that). Many are still in the process of finding it..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so cool you posted this, Jan! I started doing yoga myself about three weeks ago… and I’m still doing it. Tree pose is tough and I haven’t even done the pose in your first photo. I’m not in a class. I’m following a Yoga instructor on YouTube, Yoga with Adriene, and I really like it. Not at all intimidating like the one time I did yoga with a class. I don’t know if I’ve started to reap any of the physical benefits. I started doing it because I realized I needed to get serious about mindfulness (still not there), but it’s great to have that feeling where you tell yourself, “I did it! I’m doing this.” Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rafia! Good to know you are trying it too. I like Adrienne, currently I am practicing at home and I follow her videos when I feel like I need an instructor. Omg! I was so conscious initially in class when I saw other people twist and turns as if they had no bones and I wouldn’t​ be able to do 10% of what they did. But I guess that is also a part of mindfulness. Feel free to text me if you need any motivation or have questions any time 🙂 The first pose (wheel) took me about seven months. I wouldn’t even attempt in class and one day at home I don’t know what is as thinking.. I just tried and got it. It was more because I let go of my mental restraint. I was ecstatic when I did it 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so cool! Do you have any other online instructors you’d recommend? I really like Adriene, but variety would be nice. I’m so happy to read about the progress you’ve made. It’s really inspiring! Thanks so much for offering to help. I struggle with balance – the tree pose is not as easy as you make it look. I kept falling. But I like it. It’s fun in a way.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s