How Yoga Has Changed My Mind, Body, Soul

It’s hot, really hot, the breeze is gently blowing through the open windows, the sky is a hazy blue and the sounds of Bali’s nature is all I can hear. I’m lying on my yoga mat on a beautiful hardwood floor, incense filled the air with a summery scent and I’m excited to learn what yoga has to offer. The teacher starts speaking, she’s talking about chakras and energy and it’s resonating with me, even though I’m not entirely sure what she means. She guides us through the yoga sequence, it’s so gentle and feels so nourishing, I can’t do the poses that well but I’m enjoying it. We lay down at the end for savasana and I feel peaceful, like I was away for an hour and a half and I realized then, what I had been missing in my life.

After that class I was at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali, every day, sometimes twice a day if I could manage it. I loved it, the practice, the teachers and the environment. I started to learn so much about my body and myself that I had to go. I didn’t know how it was doing what it was doing but it felt like magic.

Once I returned home from travelling it wasn’t quite the same. There wasn’t a class that I went to that had the same authenticity as what I had experienced in Bali, the spirituality behind it had been lost. I started a daily home practice and also signed up to an online course but it just didn’t feel right. I started to lose my practice and in turn lose myself. Yoga had kept me connected to the core of my being and without it, I wasn’t sure who I was (although at the time, I didn’t know that it was yoga that was keeping me connected). I started questioning my style, the way I looked, what I was interested in and felt like I needed to change if I wanted to connect to what I knew back home.So, I did. I changed myself to fit in to society back in the UK and I stopped practicing yoga.

I moved to Cornwall eventually and starting a whole new life took me away from myself even more, it was harder than I imagined. I went back to a couple of yoga classes but it just felt like it was about what you can do and again, had lost the spirit and because it had been so long, I couldn’t return to my daily practice. As my life started to settle into place, I headed back to Bali, and guess what? I found yoga again, I remembered who I was, what I needed to do to get back to me. I met a couple of kundalini teachers at an Ashram I was visiting and I chatted to them both for a while about their practice. When I landed back in the UK, I was googling straight away where the nearest kundalini class was and there I found Unity of Heart. I’m not going to go into detail about kundalini in this post but I promise I will post about it because it is incredible! I started going to class once a week and soon it became part of my being and I realised I couldn’t be without yoga again. I was getting a connection back to my soul and was surrounded by beautiful, like-minded, strong women.

Fast forward to now and I am practicing yoga every day and have been for three months and every day I am improving, not just in my fitness but in my mind. It is a time when all that exists is the now. The connection to breath brings me right to the current moment and all of my worries disappear beyond my mat. I am just me. I work through my asana, sometimes it’s easier than others, sometimes I am strong and sometimes I’m not and that’s ok. There is no judgment when I’m on my mat and there is an intuition that takes over. Yoga has become one of the most treasured parts of my day, I have begun to incorporate music that sets my soul on fire and even bring some dance to my practice and I am so happy when I am there in my purity, moving my body and listening to what it has to say to me.

Because of all this (as well as reading the wonderful Lauren Cara’s blog about her teacher training experience), I have booked myself on to a yoga teacher training course in India this year to deepen my practice with hopes that it’ll be the beginning of another amazing journey in my life.

I cannot recommend enough that everyone should just try yoga, just go to a class or do a YouTube video, open your mind and your heart to it and just forget yourself for an hour, see what happens. I hope that you feel the magic the way I do.

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