They say that you are the sum of your habits. Maybe most of my habits might not be so good, but one that I am glad I stuck to over the years was the habit of practicing yoga.
It started around the time I started my first job. Feeling stressed out and tired, I started taking lessons for a gentle workout and realised that I was pretty suited for it.
I was quite flexible in my younger days, and had no trouble doing many of the poses like bending over backwards or forwards. I experimented with learning at different schools and with different teachers, and also went for the teacher’s training course in a bid to push myself past the plateaus after learning for several years. At the teacher’s training course, I met a lot of really flexible practitioners which made me feel like an amateur next to them.
For some people, yoga is a way to show off their perfect poses or beautiful body. Yes, that can certainly be tempting. To me, it is more of a mind-body exercise and inner journey.
Yoga became a way to center myself and really focus inwardly and gain awareness. It was also a way for me to stretch myself past boundaries that I thought I had, and it was really satisfying to be able to achieve poses like the headstand or the half split after training for a long time.
Without it, I may be in a much worse situation physically than I am now. During the pandemic, being able to practice with a local community online was a welcome relief from the sedentary lifestyle I had fallen into.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is not a good thing, and my natural tendency is to be lazy. What I like about yoga is that all you need is a mat and a well ventilated space. And there is no need to compare yourself with others, only yourself. Your body’s condition varies from day to day, so it takes awareness to realise when it is ok to push yourself more, or cut back for an easier practice.
Now, I still make it a point to go for class once a week for my own well being. With my current weak state of heath, I think it is not really enough. I can’t muster up the time or energy to do more for now, but hopefully during my recharging period I will be able to do more of it.