The Transforming Practice of Yoga
“Yoga should come with a warning: these practices will change your life.” Stephen Cope, The Wisdom of Yoga. Well, that sums it up nicely. I’ve been on my own yoga journey for three years now and wow, my life has gone through a complete transformation. Yoga is absolutely everywhere these days – there’s Bikram, Iyengar, Ashtanga, hot, power, flow, vinyasa. There is yoga for weight loss, pregnancy, post-natal, babies and the elderly. There is even laughing yoga, chair yoga and images of animals doing yoga. It’s a long, confusing list of what really is the same thing. Yoga is a union; it is the coming together of the body and mind. You begin to learn and understand body awareness, mindfulness and the fact that you are not your thoughts. My real ‘journey’ didn’t start until I walked up the little stairs of the Auckland Yoga Academy, through the lovely aroma of incense, which took me back to my time in India. My first class with the school’s director Peter Nilsson and I was hooked. Immediately afterwards I signed up for the yearlong Yoga Alliance 200hr teacher training course. And it’s not something I have regretted once. I had never done Ashtanga yoga, a dynamic and flowing yet very strong practice with loads of pushups and jump throughs, but there was something about it that drew me in. However, the actual physical asana practice (the yoga poses) is not what brought me to yoga. My original weekly class in Auckland helped me through a very tough time a few years ago when I was struggling with a health issue. That one and a half hour class every Tuesday evening gave me so much relief. I then started taking what I learnt in class and created my own practice at home. I found the breath work particularly helpful when I suffered anxiety over the situation I was in. And now, five years on I am a yoga teacher teaching in the same place where I originally participated in that first weekly class. I no longer have those health issues and I feel happy and content within myself. Yoga really has changed my life and I constantly witness how it changes other people’s lives too. It’s such a privilege to be a teacher and to see these transformations. I hope to use this blog as a place where I can inspire, inform, educate and entertain. I see it as an opportunity to dive deep into all aspects of yoga, as well as to share my own experiences as I go deeper into my own practices.