Almost every day someone asks me if yoga is for them. The answer is always YES!
I thought I would share the story of my personal yoga journey so far.
Yoga takes you on a journey that never ends. Each and every time you hit the mat or sit on the meditation cushion, your experience will be totally different. The journey is unpredictable and exciting. As a yoga teacher, I am privileged to have learned the skills and knowledge that help me understand my mind and body better than ever before.
Everyone finds their way to yoga for a different reason. There is no right or wrong reason, but one thing I know for certain is that after the first experience you will not be the same. My personal journey spans two decades. I remember buying the VHS tape and pressing play for the first time a few days after my 16th birthday.
I remember the magic, a spark of clarity and a feeling of togetherness with my mind and body. It took me many years and many failed attempts to muster up the courage to attend a class. My practice fell by the wayside for many years as I dipped in and out of yoga. I struggled to find that spark, that connection, the moment of magic again.
Over the years I attended countless classes all over the world, but nothing felt right. I felt like an outsider, with the wrong body size and shape, and not as flexible as the next person. I never really understood mantras and yogic terminology; it felt like it was far out of my reach. I just attended classes to try to shed some pounds and touch my toes.
I was privileged to travel far and wide working on cruise ships and living in both the Philippines and the States. During my travels, I tried many styles of yoga but never finding one that felt complete. Only after my return to Fife, Scotland did I find a class that helped me understand the true magic of yoga.
I stumbled upon a teacher who reconnected me with that spark once again. I finally understood that yoga was about so much more than touching my toes. I am eternally grateful to Tracy Carson for making me feel welcome from the very first class. Tracy’s warm, friendly, and light-hearted class made me understand that yoga is for everyone. No matter what size, shape, flexibility or understanding of sacred texts.
After an accident at work that left me mentally unwell and suffering from crippling anxiety, I was unable to attend classes for many months. I followed the conventional route of treatment attending counseling and taking medication. Although this helped, I felt a sense of disconnection. I decided to immerse myself totally in yogic practice, often locking myself away for hours at a time, practicing postures and meditation. I finally started to feel a shift in my mental and physical wellbeing and this inspired me to become a yoga teacher myself to share the magic of yoga.
Every day is a school day; I never stop learning about my mind and body. Yoga has inspired me to never look back and live life in the present moment.
I thought I would share a few things yoga has taught me and continues to teach me:
• To be present for life as it unfolds. I was perpetually stuck in the past and/or worrying about the future. I forgot to live in the present.
• I learned to tune into my emotions and allow myself to feel, knowing that it is ok not to be ok.
• My thinking is clearer; my mind is less hectic.
• I learned to accept myself fully and to be kind to myself.
• Yoga opened my heart to forgiveness and to shed unhealthy attachments with the past knowing I cannot change what has happened.
• I understand my body now. I check in daily with how I feel physically and mentally.
• I have learned to connect with myself and appreciate the gift of life.
• Yoga has helped me become more understanding and compassionate for every person, plant, and animal.
• My heart and mind are now open to a world of possibilities.
• My body is now strong; I am flexible and resilient.
• I feel energised and full of vitality and life.
• I feel a sense of utter contentment and acceptance. I have learned to live, laugh, love, and forgive myself and others.
• Yoga is far more than just stretching. It is a philosophy for life. It leads you to a place of grace.
• Self-acceptance truly is the greatest gift you can give yourself and yoga can help open that door.
As a yoga teacher, I emphasize the importance of working in partnership with your mind and body in every class. Yoga really is for everyone, no matter what size, shape, flexibility, each person’s experience will be completely different from the person next to them, yoga is not about twisting your body into knots and standing on your head. Yoga helps rebuild the bridge between mind, body and breath and allows you to live a life full of love and happiness.
Yoga takes you on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. It helps build strength, flexibility, and resilience from the inside out. I invite you to check out my online classes.