At 18 years old I started practising yoga to recover from an ankle injury. At the time, I loved the mental freedom I felt from running; I must admit that I was impatient to see my body heal.
Six months of yoga and I started noticing some changes. Physically, I felt more connected in my body. My torso, arms and legs were working in unison. You might think, well how could they not? But the difference I am trying to describe is that this time I was conscious of it in a new way. And I liked that feeling, my body felt healthier.
I also began to like my body better than ever before. Although I was doing less cardio in yoga compare to running; my body felt more toned. This enhanced my confidence a whole lot, with a good timing as I was just about to graduate from high school.
The following year I moved to London. My sister gave me a pale blue yoga mat as a leaving gift. It was the first thing that entered my suitcase. On my mat I continued my home practice, at times several times a week and at other times the mat stayed rolled up next to my bed.
For the next few years I worked in retail and I was standing on my legs at least 10 hours a day, oftentimes even longer. If I could share some of the postures I know now with myself back then, I would.
One such asana is Supta Baddha Konasana. It is just so amazing for the lower back and it really helps me to relax.
Fast forward and I started to attend yoga classes. Hatha, Vinyasa, Flow, Ashtanga and Bikram. My passion for yoga reawakened. I learnt about Pranayama. I met other yogis and we began to exchange our experiences.
In the midst of all commitments of a busy London life I started to show up for myself on the mat. I started to use the same mind-trick as I had often done to get off my butt and out for a run.
Simply, tell yourself to go for a 10 minutes run only. After all, the toughest step in running is the one through the doorway.
Now I apply this to my yoga home practice, I tell myself to roll out my mat and sit and breath on it for 10 minutes. Or perhaps do some stretching. Then I find myself doing sun salutations or other exercises.
Thanks to my yoga teacher training I have gained independence, knowledge and confidence in my practice. Yoga enables me to live in close synergy with my body. I wish to share this with others. Yoga is a personal thing, A personal thing that is best shared.
Me and my mat before some teaching.
Wonderful community yoga in Grace cathedral in San Francisco.