Updated: Mar 3, 2021
I do not recall my very first class, meeting my teacher or exactly what postures I performed. All I remember is how I felt when I was guided into Downward Dog and one simple thought that entered my mind during my practice.
I remember closing my eyes, focusing on my breathing and noticing that my feet felt cold. My body was a little stiff but inside, I felt warm. I had borrowed one of the teachers mats as I did not have my own. She used to carry them in a blue Ikea bag as she entered the room. I never imagined that I would do that exact same thing three years later and that I would be teaching my very own class of students.
That was over 8 years ago now. A time in my life where I was desperate to feel like 'me' again. To hold onto any element of the person I was, as opposed to who I was becoming. I tightened my grip, fearful of the future and what it may hold, terrified of the changes I faced, whilst navigating through a tsunami of feelings and emotions at such a pace, I could not process them. I longed for a moment of calm, stillness, some inner peace, and any ray of hope I could find to lessen the emotional turmoil, anxiety and panic I suffered.
I was going through a very unexpected divorce and had just become a new mother. My life as I knew it and all that I dreamed it could be, was pulled like a rug from under me. I felt completely lost and feared I'd never be found again.
I walked into what used to be my old school to attend my class. I felt at home as the buidling was familiar. I knew I had to find something for myself to escape the heartache and the pain I carried.
Guided to pad my feet and heels into the mat, I began stretching my calves, allowing my body to move naturally. My head felt heavy hanging upside down, but my neck relaxed. My palms and fingers pressed into the floor but tears filled my eyes, and I was awash with emotion. A new feeling I did not recognise came to me, and the thought that had appeared so acutely during my very first sun salutation a mere moment ago, repeated itself again...
"This is healing you from the inside out".
I later realised and learned, that the feeling I had, was to surrender to my emotions. To accept the things in my life as they stood, and to allow these new thoughts and feelings in, rather than resist them.
My thought which felt like a lightbulb moment, has become my own Mantra. The truth it holds to heal me was, and still is part of my journey…
How did I find Yoga? The answer is, I didn't! It, found me.