I could do a head stand – until I was about 10 years old. It was a valuable skill to have at that time.There was not much to do, anyway. No TV set. No fancy (even simple) toys to play with. Not even books other than old, thin, overused school textbooks. So contorting our bodies became our creative and fun way of killing time.
We didn’t need anything – just our bodies. It was as simple as lifting our own weight. Plus a silly contest on the best (inimitable) poses and the longest hold. A concept I thought was similar to yoga.
This was my first mistake.
Yoga is not just a body work-out – it’s a work inside that materialises outside.
Don’t look at me with incredulity. I’m not insane, I know what I’m saying. I’m not embracing a new religion either. However, I cannot help but liken yoga into a spiritual journey.
It’s about retracing the connection between mind, soul, and body. It’s about reconnecting with our beautiful soul in its spotless state. It’s about being kind to oneself.
Shutting up the judgemental part of us
We beat ourselves up a lot without really being aware of it. A slip-up in a diet causes not just worry but negative self-talk. Those unpleasant words we tell ourselves just flow easily:
“I hate my body.”
“I’m like a grinding machine.”
“I’m so undisciplined.”
“I’m never gonna lose weight.”
Worst: “I’m a failure.”
That’s the first wall that good yoga teachers will try to break. A wall filled with sour and bitter words we tell ourselves out of frustration.That nagger is replaced with a patient, forgiving self. Just like how we used to be when we were kids.
We never stop trying until we get something we love.
Instead of operating on hatred (i.e. hating our bodies), yoga helps its practitioners work on a better self (inside and outside) out of love and compassion.
Yoga reminds me to honour my body – to address it respectfully and make peace with it. No one insults or berates out of peace, respect, and love. It’s just impossible.
I’m so excited to discover numerous kinder ways to treat my permanent companion – my awesome self.
So.. these are my first impressions of yoga. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts about it.
P.S. Thanks very much for my delightful and extremely versatile yoga companion that fateful day. See you again next week, Jewel.
I’m also very grateful for Neil‘s support that day – from shopping for mat and outfit to a warm, soothing tea after the strenuous yet fun yoga practice.