A friend of mine has recently asked me to teach him some basic yoga poses, because of my constant rave of the unique practice. So his question has got me thinking, how did I get started with yoga? And what made me want continue with yoga for life?
My tipping point was when I was faced with alot of pressures at work, expectations of others on me, and my innate competitive spirit to constantly be better than I already am. And when the times get tough, you push your body's limit and challenge your mind to be stronger. Days, weeks and months got very taxing for me. I then used yoga to relax physically and I loved the 37 degree heat to warm up the tension on my shoulders and back.
I slowly begun appreciating different meanings of spirituality and philosophy that yoga brings to your daily life. It a completely humbling experience when it comes to being on my mat. For 60-90 minutes in my daily life, I can breathe into my body and mind, leave all my troubles and stress behind, and focus on what really matters, which is YOU! It takes a little bit of courage and determination, and completely no judgement on yourself to be a yogi. Yoga is about letting go of the ego, because you're no better or worse than the person next to you.
I have explored different types of yoga; asthanga, vinyasa, hatha and bikram (last week). Bikram was quite interesting. You're basically confined to a room (often packed), bright lights, mirrors in front of you, heat going beyond 40 degree celsius, stench that can be so bad that it was so unbearable when lying on my mat, and 26 poses for 90 minutes. It's a torture chamber, quite literally. But I learnt that breathing and being calm despite the 'distractions'. The whole time you're fighting against the anger, and breathing into having a more peaceful mind. Afterwards you feel like a million bucks, because your body has completely rid of all the toxins and your mind is completely switched on.
And you may think that yoga is a fad... But, when was the last time you really focused on yourself for a full 90 minutes?
Try yoga, and learn to love yourself.