For the Love of Yoga
Today I took part in my very first Guinness Book of World Records challenge!
So, what was the challenge you ask? Well it was an attempt to break the world record for the biggest yoga class in Sydney, which I believe is currently set at 255. I’m yet to find out whether we broke it or not, but nevertheless it was pretty awesome to be a part of it!!
At the end of the practice, as I was lying in savasana trying to focus and meditate after a beautiful Yin practice – my mind, naturally, began to wander. I couldn’t help but think how did I get here? When did I become this lover of yoga? Well I do, not so fondly, remember my very first yoga class. I remember it all too well because it was the day I finally agreed to go with my sister to Bikram yoga. She had been raving on for months about all of the amazing, healing benefits of Bikram and how good it would be for me to do as a study ‘break’ from my uni assignments. Yes, bikram yoga. My very first yoga class was 90 minutes long and in 40 degree heat!! I recall thinking at the time as the sweat was pouring off me (before the class had even started!) that I would never ever, ever, ever go to a yoga class again!!
Well needless to say, 8 years on, 100+ bikram classes later (including a class in Barcelona, and yes the class was in Spanish!), countless hours spent doing hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, power yoga, iyengar and vin yoga PLUS a week-long yoga retreat last year – I’m pretty sure I’ve converted to a lover of all things yoga!!! Yes, I am now proud to call myself a yogi 🙂
Meditating overlooking the Byron Bay hinterland x
So why do I love yoga so much?
1. I am more energised. I have never left a yoga class feeling worse than when I walked in. More often than not, I leave feeling recharged and more enegrised. As a result, I also find that I sleep better and feel more rested when I wake up.
2. I am healthier and fitter. Yoga requires a combination of strength, balance, and flexibility. When most people start out, they usually have one of these in their favour. Personally I found that my balance and flexibility were not great, however I was ok in the strength department. Now, not only has my strength continued to get better (particularly in my upper body with all those vinyasa flows!) but my flexibility and balance is the best it has ever been which I now carry throughout my day. This is particularly important if you sit at a desk for the majority of the day, or do physically labour intensive work – the postures in yoga will allow you to stretch out and reverse (or at least minimise) the impact that our daily lives can bring.
3. I am calmer and more focused. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, particularly for those of us who work in corporate jobs and are constantly juggling competing pressures, it can really leave you strung out. I’ve seen it firsthand. The power of breathing and meditation through yoga has allowed me to feel much more centred and focused throughout the day. I find it brings a sense of clarity to my life and in turn allows me to work much more efficiently with a clear stream of consciousness.
4. I am more spiritual. Yoga is built on spirituality and the promotion of being kind and compassionate towards yourself and others. This is something that sadly, if not reminded, can be forgotten in modern society. When I leave the yoga room, I am a softer person. More often than not, any frustrations that I carry into a yoga class are left behind once I leave. I love that.
5. I am on a journey of holistic healing and yoga has been a major contributor on this journey. #mytruth
So if you’re not already practicing, I highly recommend you to start! Trust me, you will quickly begin to feel amazing and reap the incredible rewards that will service you for the rest of your life! But perhaps don’t start with Bikram Yoga – unless you really love hot sweaty rooms!!
Visiting the sacred energetic healing land of Crystal Castle in Byron Bay on my yoga retreat last year