It started a flame in my soul in 2006, when I found myself at one of the hardest points in my life. I stumbled upon Vinyasa Yoga Instructor Dave Farmar’s podcast based out of Colorado. I listened to him, researched the poses, and did them almost daily. I saw my arms getting some development and thinking about my body, it’s alignment and how I felt have spiraled me into the Rabbit Hole even further…without any foreseeable return. I did not realize it, but I had actually started doing yoga with my mom in the 8th grade (it was not called that on the video we were doing, but it was all the Bikram Yoga poses).
The love affair intensified a couple summers ago, when my cousin taught me my first arm balance, the lovely Crow Pose.
Then, the romance exploded into a marriage (yes, I am bound together with yoga now) when I stumbled upon an Instagram Yoga challenge with my aforementioned cousin.
I was hooked. Line, sinker, kitchen sink and all. There is no turning back for me, and yoga has become a huge part of my life, to the point that I am givin
sideline instruction to friends and family members.
Enter Kino MacGregor and Ashthanga yoga. When I first started doing the yoga poses on Instagram, I knew pretty quickly, I would never amount to Kino’s contortionist-like moves, and instead, I stuck with all the modifications. Pretty soon, I realized, I can do this pose, if I keep trying, or that one with a few more stretches prior, and then Kino became my model for following yoga. (Disclaimer: I do not speak so boldly as to think I can attain her status of yoga practice, but she is a newfound example to me.)
As a result, I slammed over into Asthanga yoga, wanting to see what this style of yoga was like. At first, I thought, meh, no big deal, following a diagram online. Not realizing that in fact, the diagram online left out all the transitions, and flows, between the poses. I realized pretty quickly that Ashtanga is not to be meh’ed at! After finding a youtube video taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the style of yoga. This video is perfect. It goes through the primary series (which I have not quite completed yet, as I end up exhausted after 40-45 minutes). Give it a try, if you’re looking for something new to challenge yourself with, let me know what you think.
From a physical standpoint, I will tell you that since I started practicing yoga in 2006, I have lost 40 lbs. Since I actively started doing yoga weekly/daily two summers ago, I lost the last 15 lbs. and they stay off. ☺ From a mental/emotional perspective, I have had to face a LOT of my fears, depressions, anxieties and unhealthy habits. Yoga just will NOT let you get away with all of that excess. I have become at home in my body, and am finding out what truly makes me happy. (I have spent so many years being and doing what I thought other people wanted for me, that I have a LOT of scraping out of the guts to do to rearrange those crappy tendencies). And spiritually, yoga put me back in touch with God. I had strayed from church and from prayer, as a lot of the hurt that I had was dealt with Christianity tacked onto it. I am forgiving that, those individuals and myself. It is unreal the layers that have built up, but are being peeled away.
The progress I have made, in just almost a year is incredible. Currently, I am working on holding a handstand for this month’s yoga challenge on Instagram and today, I held it for longer than I ever had. It surprised me so much, I immediately fell over!! If you want to check out this journey, you can find me @zephyrayoga on Instgram! Come on over!
This journey has and will continue to be an amazing one…the yogic lifestyle. The practice of yoga.
DO you do yoga? What journey has it brought you? Have you ever wanted to try yoga?