Last night we wrapped up another successful 4-Week Beginners Yoga workshop. As the class came to a close I began reflecting upon the beginners yoga course I took many moons ago. I will never forget how nervous I was making the commitment to the course. How fearful I was that I might injure myself, embarrass myself or just plain hate it. I also remembered that elated feeling when I successfully completed the course. I was so proud of myself for having taken the first step, immersing myself in the world of yoga.
As a teacher, nothing makes me happier than to see students commit to their practice. I’ve found the beginner environment is such a beautiful space where patience is cultivated and everyone is just excited to be learning new things. To not only learn the fundamentals of the practice, but also to learn how to play with their practice. To have fun with this journey of self-exploration. I’ve also observed there is no ego in these workshops. Everyone is always very humble and genuinely excited about challenging and overcoming barriers. Because let’s face it, ego is flying around everywhere with the way yoga is heading here in the west, making the practice really unappealing and somewhat threatening to those who are new.
But back to my incredible beginners – I feel so inspired by the students and can’t help but get excited about the journey to come. I look fondly upon my own journey with yoga over the years and I see how my life has transformed because of it. My life before – I was a corporate employee who became so exhausted by my work that I came to resent it. My life now - a full time yoga teacher and founder of a community driven yoga studio. My new path is by no means easier, in fact its more challenging in many ways, but it is also far more fulfilling.
I know we hear a lot of stories about how yoga can change a person’s life, but wow – has my life changed. I’m now preparing for my annual return to India to deepen my practice under the guidance of Guruji. Let’s just say when I stepped into my very first yoga class I never in my wildest of dreams could have imaged the life I have now. Founder of a studio and consider India to be my second home. I feel very lucky and blessed.
Whilst I appreciate it is not everyone’s aspiration to become a yoga teacher (nor was it mine for many years), the practice really does have the power to change our lives. It teaches us to find something within. Something that is often masked by the dramas and distractions of everyday life. When we find or feel that ‘something’, suddenly life begins to take on a whole new meaning. The simple moments become so precious. The food we eat becomes important. The people we choose to spend our time with become more selective purely out of developing a stronger sense of self and thus self respect. The petty, shallow conversations become less important and you begin to allow only the more meaningful conversations and experiences into your life.
For me, I felt wasted in the work I was doing. As a Senior Rehabilitation Consultant who was worked to the point of near chronic fatigue, I was tired of the meaningless conversations with colleagues who also resented their career, possibly their life and life trajectory. Being surrounded by this amount of negativity was bound to take a toll on my physical and emotional health. It was an unsustainable way of living and in time, I finally realized I deserved more. I deserved the happier, calmer, more fulfilling life I dreamed of. A life crafted by me and only me. And I can hands down say yoga supported me with my transition from my old life to the life I live now. The deeper I went/go with my practice, the more confident, self-aware and determined I become to make a real go of this journey we call life. Why? Because it only happens once and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.
Wherever you are in the world – if you’re thinking about beginning yoga, my advice to you is - just start. For it is only when you start that you can begin to see how far the rabbit hole goes.
If you live locally, here in Melbourne, my next Beginners Yoga: 4-Week Program is commencing November 23rd and will be the last course until February 2017 when I return from India. I would be honoured for you to join me should you like to practice with us.