My Yoga Journey So Far
Where it all began….
My spiritual quest for achieving optimum balance in my ever-increasing busy life, began nearly 5 years ago when I embarked on my first ever solo travelling trip to Asia. This journey began the magical country of India. My third time returning India, but my first time alone as a women traveler. What an inspiring life changing trip it was.
A few years previous, in India, my boyfriend at the time and I met a lovely girl from Petersborough. We met her in the mystical Yogic capital of Rishikesh, India. We were staying in the same Ashram as I attempted to dabble in Yoga and meditative techniques.
I was intrigued but equally awe inspired at the time when she told me she was off to do a “Vipassana”. A ten-day silent meditation retreat, where one meditates all day on their breath! It sounded bonkers to me and I couldn’t fathom how anyone would like to put themselves through such an experience. Little did I know that five years later, I would be standing at the entrance to a Vipassana centre in Burma, attempting to put myself through this same “ordeal”.
My goal for doing Vipassana was to quite simply “to learn how to meditate”. The experience provided much more than this and set me on a journey to self-discovery. A journey to meet my mind, to observe it, to witness how it was not always serving me in my life. I left the ten-day retreat with new eyes. A vast appreciation for everything in life. The way I looked at a flower or the way I explored another’s face had changed. I was in the present moment and seeing behind the scenes appreciating the wonder that is life. Appreciating my place in this expansive universe. And so, I headed off into the morning sun with a new friend and a fresh perspective on what I wanted to do with my life.
Back to reality
Returning to the UK was challenging. Fitting back into “normal life” and finding that the pace was ever increasing with each hour and day. Initially I adhered to the practice, engaging in meditation practice twice a day for 1 hour at a time. After a few months, the length of time I was meditating had reduced, but I now had started to practice Yoga on a weekly basis and often attended three yoga classes in the week. The Yoga teachers in Bristol were inspirational souls. Little did they know they were planting the Yogic seed within myself, which I would later water and allow to grow.
Shortly after returning home, I decided to study Ayurveda and began my course in Ayurvedic Nutrition and lifestyle the following new year. Ayurveda, a 5000-year old holistic healing system that seeks to achieve balance within one’s life. This is through using food, herbs, massage, yoga, meditation, and various lifestyle practices, to achieve optimum equilibrium in your life and to avoid disease. Slowly, slowly I started to live a life following the principles of Ayurveda, waking early, tending to my yoga and meditation practices, eating according to my current dosha, reminding myself to ground balance in the rapid pace of city life. The latter becoming ever more difficult to achieve despite my efforts.
Then, BOOM! Prior to my final Ayurvedic exam, the Universe had a test in store for me. A serious cycle bike accident which left me with a broken wired jaw, a different face, a liquid diet. There was something in this accident, something that symbolized the hecticness of my life around this time and something encouraging me to STOP. This was the profound realization after the accident.
What irony, that I was trying to achieve balance, but I was actually achieving more disharmony by taking on more and expecting too much of myself. After months of healing both physically and emotionally, I vowed to listen to myself more, I vowed to stop, I vowed to reconnect fully with my practice, and this is what I did.
Fast forward three years and I am back on a ten-hour plane journey to India. With anticipation and excitement within my heart, I was heading to Sattva Yoga Academy, to train to be a Yoga teacher. The initial goal was not for the purpose of being able to teach, but rather for further exploration of the practice and myself.
Sattva Yoga, an integrative yoga practice which has been designed to help “raise our consciousness and enable us to live a life full of joy and possibility”, “a complete and powerful pathway to Self-Mastery and a radically alive life” (Sattva Yoga Academy).
A truly life transforming, inspiring journey. A journey which began as one of self-exploration but resulted in my feeling empowered to move forward into to the world and offer these sacred teachings to others, in effort to promote healing.