I started getting back to Yoga when my youngest son was four. I did not understand then how that decision would impact my life as well as my family.
I was looking for a way to feel better. I was used to feeling drained, exhausted, warn out, weak and done in. For the most part I had accepted that this was just the way life was, a busy Mama of four kiddos meant not much sleep and what felt like endless demands. There was a part of me that hoped it was possible to feel better, even a little better.
Off I went with my yoga mat to one class a week. That one class sometimes felt impossible to get to but the possibility of feeling better kept me going even if I missed a class or two or three along the way.
It did not take long for me to start to pull out my yoga mat at home, curious as to why this movement felt so good and seemed to breathe energy into my life.
At first it started with the benefits that come when I made space for me in my life. Being able to tell myself, the demands will always be there, take some time to take care of you.
I noticed I was less irritable and had a bit of spring in my step. This Yoga thing was mine. It felt good when the kids and my husband started to understand that Mom leaves on Tuesday nights to go to “her yoga class”.
After a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, a knee surgery that removed 80% of my meniscus, fertility treatments, 3 pregnancies (forever grateful) and 3 C – sections, I did not know this body of mine. One of the things that Yoga provided for me was a way to get to know it. Each asana, pose, left me with a new understanding of my body and over time I was able to use this information to take care of myself better and to challenge myself safely.
The breath work became a tool I could take out at anytime to reset my nervous system. I noticed I was more in control of myself, less reactive.
As time went on I wanted to share this with all women. That there was a movement practice that brought about so much transformative change in my life. For me, it being practical, sustainable and not expensive was so important. That almost anyone could practice it was another amazing attribute.
I registered with the Alberta Yoga Collage in Calgary for my 200 hour teacher training. Started teaching as soon as I finished and a year later put my Massage Therapy Practice to the side to continue to bring Yoga to women as a transformative self care option.
When I first started practicing yoga, I was stiff. I felt like I was the last person who should be in a Yoga class. I was told I was wearing the wrong pants. I felt like an imposter. Who was I to think I could be a Yoga student? I challenged all of these thoughts because the classes felt so good.
In most of the postures I had very little flexibility. I was grateful for Child’s Pose and for the standing poses because I felt more comfortable practicing those. When I would attempt a forward fold, there was very little forward movement.
In this seated wide legged forward fold (picture below), I sat on two blankets and would work to keep my torso upright. It felt so good.
I decided then and there that I was doing Yoga because it made me feel good. I was not here to perform or to put any pressure on myself to fit into these poses. I was not coming to class to put another demand on myself, I was here to take care of myself.
I LET GO AND DECIDED TO ENJOY THE MOVEMENT!
Oh, what a beautiful journey it has been and continues to be!! Making that decision to let myself off the hook. To do yoga because it felt good. To show up on the mat to move and breathe because I could, not because I had to. TO KNOW THAT BEING ON THE MAT, when I could, WAS ENOUGH. I believe that making that decision has allowed me to stay practicing.`
I am very grateful that I went looking for a way to feel better. I am very grateful that Yoga met me in my exhaustion. That my mat became a place to be, free from demands and expectations.
I hope you experience that same freedom on your mat.