I have been a huge fan of yoga since 2012, where I discovered it in a yoga shala in Nusa Lembongan, Bali. It was so strange, an English girl who had been to my hometown of Bristol was leading the class, although I felt entirely out of place I suddenly started to feel really quite at home. The teacher was friendly and welcoming and I felt like it wasn’t all that important that I’d barely stretched for YEARS. The settings were serene and her voice was soft, I started to relax until I saw some crazy ass bendy chick next to me that threw me off my stride completely!
“Am I meant to be able to do THAT?”
“How did she get her arm there!?”
“She’s balanced that whole time and I’ve fallen over 3 times already!?”
I became self-conscious and my mind was racing. I started to realize just how unflexible I really was and felt bad about it. Then, in amongst all these thoughts running around like a merry-go-round, the calming voice of the yoga teacher reminded me ‘it doesn’t matter what the person next to you is doing, just be where you are and be ok with that.’ With the regular reminder to focus on my breath and kind words of gentle encouragement throughout, I felt a hell of a lot better. Or perhaps just momentarily distracted from all the thoughts running wild.
By the time the class came to the final, sweet, blissful pose of ‘Shavasana’
(aka corpse pose, ‘play dead’ lay down and chill the F out) I felt a rush of sensations through my body. And also felt a little space between all the racing thoughts and for the first time in like, well, ever, I was able to find some true and very real, peace and quiet.
I was hooked. What an amazing feeling.
Now since that day, I’ve fallen in and out of yoga. Also I’ve been through times where I have practiced daily like a dedicated yoga junkie. Or I’ve been injured and fallen away from yoga, becoming a moon-boot bound couch potato. I’ve thrown myself into a gym routine and I’ve tried other hobbies. However, one thing remains, yoga is special. It’s an ‘all-rounder’ not just physically by mentally and spiritually.
When you find consistency, a teacher you love and an environment you feel comfortable in, hold on to it and work hard to stay in that space.
Here are the 3 undeniable good reasons that you should include yoga in your regime:
- Increase your flexibility to relieve aches and pains within your body
The nature of yoga, is in fact to get your body in peak condition for meditation. That’s the whole point of it. To be able to sit still and meditate. You will often find that aches and pains begin to fall away.
- Find some mental clarity and peace within your busy thoughts, relieving symptoms of stress and worry
The Shavasana element of yoga is very special. After tiring your body out and concentrating on your breath for an hour, you find some genuinely blissful peace and quiet between your thoughts thereafter. A feeling which carries throughout the day.
- Help you learn to dedicate time to yourself, understanding the importance of listening to the needs of your body
Practicing yoga truly teaches you to listen to the signals within your body. It’s easy through a busy schedule to ignore the communication coming from your body, take a pain killer or have a wine. Yoga helps slow beverything down and make a space for listening to the signals.