Welcome to my Yoga Journey
I’ve been trying to write this out a few times now. You see, my yoga journey has been far from linear so binding together all the different pieces seemed like a big task. But every journey has a beginning so let’s travel way back to begin mine…
I first practised yoga when I was the tender age of 8. My mum had bought the Geri Halliwell yoga video on VHS (yes that’s right Ginger Spice introduced me to yoga), and naturally the whole family wanted a go. At around the same time my primary school also had a yoga teacher come in to our PE class. The universe had aligned and being an overzealous kid I was soon teaching yoga in the playground. This must have lasted all of one week and yoga, much like a Tamagotchi pet, was once again forgotten.
Anyone else have this little gem at home?
Fast forward to age 15, I had been diagnosed with scoliosis and was going in for surgery. I had two curves in my spine, one in the thoracic region and one in the lumbar. Doctors had decided to only operate on my thoracic region, however, due to the restrictions spinal fusion places on your mobility. Although yoga wasn’t on my radar at this time I remember crying at the thought of my future self unable to move or dance like everyone else. Lucky enough for me I was very wrong, and slowly as I recovered I began to barely notice these limitations.
However, I was always cautious about yoga. The idea of purposely doing a backbend seemed a bit too optimistic. So except for a few classes here and there when my friends were going, I largely placed yoga in the category of things that I couldn’t do ‘because of my spine’. That became my mantra up until I was working in my first ‘real job’ in an office. My lower back began to ache from sitting at a desk all day until the point when during a doctor’s appointment I asked my GP what I could do about it. The GP suggested yoga – ‘wait is that possible with my back?!’ I asked and she reassured me that it was fine as long as I let the teacher know.
Here the yoga seed that was planted many years ago started to germinate. I attended classes in studios and online sporadically with my ex who had already been practising yoga. I enjoyed the practice but connected mainly with the physical aspects it had to offer. After all yoga had helped with my back pain and was another means of getting fit.
It wasn’t until I battled with anxiety and depression when I was 23 that I really started to connect with yoga on a deeper level. I was introduced to the benefits of the other elements of yoga including philosophy and meditation. The more I learnt the more I found that I deeply aligned with the teachings of this practice mentally and spiritually. Yoga started to mean much more to me and soon I considered becoming a yoga teacher. However during this time I was completing my PhD and still very much facing mental health issues.
The next couple of years were spent thinking about doing a yoga teacher training on and off, and growing more and more in love with yoga. I began practising every day and learning all that I could.
Yoga has taught me so much about myself and has helped me face life with more balance and grace. Yoga has shown me how to find comfort in the uncomfortable and stillness when my mind is racing.
Now that I have completed my yoga teacher trainings I look forward to sharing this journey with you and I hope that you will follow along. If you feel called to, please share your yoga story in the comments below.