I’ve been practicing yoga for about 4 years – I’m 21, so that seems like a really long time to me.
One summer about 5 years ago my parents got obsessed with trying to lose weight (this happened quite a lot – the obsessions as well as the weight loss thing) and we all signed up to a gym that had just opened up down the road. I’d never been to a ‘proper’ gym so this was an exciting thing for me and it was where I attended my first yoga class. Looking back on it now it wasn’t ‘real yoga’ – the class was called Body Balance and it was more about physical fitness.
The next couple of years I practiced on and off at different yoga schools – and at this stage I only went to specific yoga schools because they seemed a lot more ‘professional’ so to speak. I also moved a lot so it was hard for me to have a regular practice.
My first ‘proper yoga school’ was run by a lady named Jacqui in a community center about 10 minutes drive from my house. It was there I learnt how to properly meditate – she had this amazing voice that just lulled you into another world. I still don’t know how she did it but I always felt amazing after one of her classes. Unfortunately I moved and stopped attending but I guess she was the one who introduced me to ‘the real yoga’.
When I moved into my current place of residence, finding a yoga school and practicing regularly was my main goal. By this stage I’d figured out that yoga was important in maintaining some peace in my life but I still hadn’t worked out just how important it was to my sanity. The Central Coast Yoga School was the first place I tried and I fell in love with it straight away. The best thing about it would definitely have to be the teachers.
Cathryn’s style is soft and gentle – I’ve attended some of her classes that were really hard but there was always an underlying element of quiet contentment in her classes. Peter taught me discipline and self love – he got books out and showed us the way the muscles were meant to stretch and showed us on his own body how to do certain poses properly so you don’t hurt yourself. To cut a long story short they were the ones who made me fall in love with yoga and I believe they’ve inspired me to become a yoga teacher myself.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the money to go back to practicing there regularly. I’m not sure how I feel about this – I’m disappointed because I was practicing 3 times a week and it was really doing wonders for my health and well being but on the other hand I feel like it’s a great opportunity to start living yoga.
I was making excuses for a while there about being lazy with my health regime. I’d always thought that one day I’d stop attending classes and start doing my own practice (I’d even have my own little special space to practice in) so one day I just thought ‘why can’t I do that now?’
So that’s what I’ve been working on; living yoga. It’s sure as hell not easy, especially for someone like me who is possibly the best procrastinator in the world. However, if I’ve learnt anything from yoga it is to just be happy with where you’re at no matter where it is because that’s where you are meant to be. I may not be able to set aside a whole hour for my practice but I have been practicing everyday and that’s something I’m proud of.
“Once the seed is planted, it has to be tended daily, nurtured, and watered through the discipline of regular practice. As a result of devoted practice, insights sprout from within, and an understanding of the tree of yoga begins to grow. The eight limbs become the tools with which to work the soil but only if students follow the correct practice method will the tree grow to maturity.”
– John Scott Ashtanga Yoga