I’ve been wanting to do a post on this particular topic for a long time and now I’ve finally gotten around to do so.
As many of you may know, especially those of you who follow my journey through Instagram & Facebook, I’m very passionate about yoga and wholeheartedly believe that it has made a tremendous change in my life when I thought everything was lost.
The reason I decided to give yoga another go came about a few months later when I woke up in hospital. Battling cancer and heartache had gotten the better of me and my body had given up on life – so had my mind. I knew that if I wanted to change my life I had to make some serious changes and yoga was one of them.
Yoga to me is so much more than an exercise-form. To me it lays in the spiritual aspect, too. When I practise yoga I feel at ease. I feel positive, I feel comfortable with myself, I feel connected with the universe and have faith in whichever obstacles it throws at me I will come out on the other side stronger & wiser. You may think how all this is possible simply by doing a downward dog or a pigeon pose? It’s very hard to explain in words, but for me it’s the raw, unedited version of yourself that you have to deal with in these moments. It’s not a team-sport, it’s not about who’s finishing the race first – it’s about being aware of every single point of your body and letting yourself embrace every single feeling, good or bad, and ultimately having to deal with these in that moment.
I often cry, smile, laugh when I’ve finished a yoga-session. Why? Because like I explained above, I let myself feel absolutely everything that comes to me in this time. I also make sure that I deal with all these feelings and tie them into a little bow and send them on their way because they now belong to the past. Yoga for me is dealing with the past, living in the now and preparing myself for what the future may hold for me.
On a physical level, yoga has done wonders to my body. Firstly, it has improved my flexibility tremendously, helped my back pain and strengthened my posture, let alone created definition in my arms, back and legs I never got from training with weights alone.
It builds strength in ways you can’t imagine until you’ve tried it. Because you perform movements your body is not normally used to on a daily basis you’re working different muscle-groups and holding these poses for longer/shorter amount of time, depending on which yoga-style you’re practising, your body keeps guessing what’s coming next.
Growing stronger in your poses and comparing them to when you first started working on them is just a boost to your confidence. Yoga is about being curious like we all were when we were kids. Curious for the future, curious about trying new things. So often it’s your mind that stops you from being the best you and from trying new things. Your mind is telling you that you cannot do this. Working with your mind is one of the first steps i’d recommend if you take up yoga. Push your body, tell your mind that you can do this and then reap all the benefits – on a physical and mental level.
All shots are by Chris Lew.