In August I wrote to you about investing in yourself and mentioned that I had recently invested in a yoga teaching qualification. Now I am on the verge of finishing after a fair few months of hard work, long hours and LOTS of yoga and I am really excited to begin my yoga teaching journey and get everyone as inspired with yoga as I am!
I wanted to take the time to reflect on my journey, because for me it has been more enlightening than I could have ever imagined. If we wind back to the first lockdown, I had renewed my love of yoga by doing some online classes with the main motivation to keep fit, keep moving, get more flexible and to give my body a new challenge. If you asked me now why I do yoga my answer would be completely different!
This journey came at a time of real uncertainty for me. Coming out of the first lockdown and back to work my anxiety was through the roof, I felt completely lost, full of self-doubt and quite honestly was really miserable. Alongside the course I was having to try and rebuild my business and recover from the mental strain of lockdown. It wasn’t without its challenges, but it gave me a focus, it taught me a lot, but most importantly it became more than a course, it became a personal transformation.
So, whilst reflecting I decided to list the changes (I’ve kept it brief but there are whole chapters and worlds of things you could say for all of them), I have noticed in myself over the last few months, because Yoga to me has become so much more than movement on a mat.
- Mindset & Self-worth – Spending so much time with yourself, your thoughts and your body makes you see things in a whole new light. Taking the time out every day to clear a path for your mind has been really inspiring. It has also helped me change and shape the things I see as important and of value. This can be quite an overwhelming experience but in time it can make a big impact.
- Reflecting on situations – Removing emphasis on the material things in life and being more in the present. Before this course I was struggling with feeling like I wasn’t ‘where I should be’ in my life. Now I am more thankful and beginning to try and take each day as it comes and see the beauty in that. Also, and a very important one, I have tried to stop comparing myself to others! We are all on our own path and this negativity spreads. When faced with a situation which may trigger negative emotions now, I am slowly training my mind to pause, regather, breathe and re-frame.
- Gratitude & Humbleness – I feel I have really shone a mirror to myself over the last few months and I have seen both the good and bad in me. That is itself is a very humbling experience. My focus now is on what joy, love and support I can bring to others and be less self-absorbed. Remove the jealousy, pessimism and self-doubt from my life, and be more engaged in what difference I can bring to the world. Further still spending more time enjoying the world around me! I have become an avid nature lover😊
- Lifestyle – Looking after myself more! I have given up caffeine completely, reduced my alcohol intake and also, I have gone back to being vegetarian as this is a personal preference for me. We should honour and love our bodies and look after them the best way we can!
- Silence in the noise – The time I spend doing yoga now is my time for absolute silence from the world. I have been practicing meditation 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes and am training my mind to silence the noise around me, even for the smallest of time. Game changing! When you step on your yoga mat this is your time, for you!
- Challenging the mind – All of the above doesn’t come overnight, everyday I am stimulating my mind, changing its preconceptions, focussing on removing the noise of life around, changing its ingrained responses to situations, teaching it new ways of working and most of all being kind and looking after it! Our mental health is so important and yet we never seem to put the emphasis on caring for it!
So, if you asked me now why I do yoga… my answer would be because:
“I am accepting who I am and caring for myself from the inside out. It isn’t about perfection it’s about progress”