My first ever memories of Yoga was a book my mum showed me back in the early 90’s. I remember it had a lady on the front in a blue leotard and I thought the yoga was a way of getting fit. I was around 11 and it’s an important time for a young girl as you are becoming aware of your body and how it’s changing. I remember practicing some of the poses on the floor in my bedroom and feeling really good about it, thinking I can actually do this and enjoying it. I don’t remember when I stopped practicing really, but it was years later when I took it up again.
Yoga is Powerful
I don’t think I realised how powerful yoga was at changing your perception of the world and its challenges back then. I used yoga as a part of my keep fit routine alongside weight training and running for many years. I remember laying in Mohan’s classess listening to his melodic voice saying not to entertain any other thoughts, as my mind raced through my to do list, things in the past I couldn’t do anything about, and wondering how much longer I had to hold this pose that restricted my breathing and made me feel a little sickly or uncomfortable. I remember listening to the instructions of how to breathe and think to myself what difference did it actually make? I’m breathing that’s the main thing. I remember how frustrated I’d get if I couldn’t hold a pose, but I persevered for years because by the end of that class in a basic council run sports hall in Liverpool I knew that when I left that room I felt different to when I went in. And I liked it.
I suffered a small back injury that prevented me lifting weights, and back in 2017 that was what I liked doing. The thought of not being able to train hit me really hard mentally, I felt as though all my hard work was going to be wasted if I couldn’t continue to train. Going to the gym had given me the strength to get through my divorce and I was devastated. The one thing I could continue to do was yoga so I threw myself in to it and practiced most days, going to classes and watching you tube videos. I began to notice a change in my body I decided a little while after this to see about learning to teach classes and if it was something I could do. I loved the idea of being able to teach a class full of people how to move their body and get more toned and fitter and it was for everybody not just the young and fit but the older and the less mobile people who were overweight or weaker. Genuinely yoga is for everyone, I just didn’t realise how powerful the practice could be on you mentally.
Over the next year I had a tough time in work due to anxiety and stress levels so I went to see my doctor to see if he could help me in any way. He prescribed me beta blockers for my tightening chest and the panic. I was shocked at first as I’ve never been prescribed anything for my mental state and I felt a little weak and pathetic. I took the tablets for 4 days and then woke up one morning numb inside and just thought no way I am not this person I refuse to let this beat me.