I had been interested in yoga for a long time, but never had the energy nor the inclination to do anything about it, yet it always caught my eye – like when something sparkles in the sunlight. Then one day many years ago, thanks to an old friend, I met yoga on a Ramadan afternoon in a garden surrounded by trees and the sounds of bird’s singing.
I was fasting that day, and it had been a busy day in the office, so I thought it was a crazy idea to do any kind of activity at all, but I was wrong. The fasting, combined with the yoga and the peaceful surroundings made me feel cleansed and weightless. Lying on the mat in Savasana (corpse pose) at the end of the class, soaking in a new kind of bliss, I vowed to continue doing yoga as often as I could.
As much as I enjoyed it then, life took me in other directions, and again, we were separated for a while. Me watching yoga from afar, occasionally yearning for a glimpse, but mostly being too lazy or busy or whatever to actually practice. If it sounds like a love affair, that’s because it is. I can now officially declare that me and yoga, we’ve got a thing going on – a twice daily type of thing. Yeah, it’s serious.
Now, the reason I bring this up is because right now, with the way things are going in this city, we all need a bit of peace and positivity in our lives. Yoga has taught me that those things are only attainable on an internal level – no one is going to give you that peace; you have to get it for yourself. Like when I make my two year-old get his own juice from the fridge.
Yoga may give the impression that’s too hard, or complicated, or only for certain individuals with highly flexible limbs, but it’s not true. Almost anyone can begin practicing yoga, alone, at home, at the club, on the beach – all you need is a mat (or a towel) and some patience with yourself.
Of course, it would be ideal if you could join a class and learn from someone with the right experience, but it’s not a necessity as long as you take it slow and don’t rush into it, don’t rush your body, take your sweet time.
And it works, let me count the ways: Better mood, more energy, more patience, feeling centered, strength, flexibility and much more, as you go deeper into your practice, you’ll reap more benefits.
How to get started:
1- Read, read, read – there is a wealth of info out there.
2- Watch yoga videos on YouTube – try Tara Stiles for starters AKA The Yoga Rebel.
3- Grab a DVD for beginners – just watch it at first, let the style sink in.
4- Choose a quiet place to practice, make it your space.
5- Let me know how it’s going.
A few tips:
• It’s preferable to do it on an empty stomach, like first thing in the morning.
• If you’re a complete beginner, do a little warm up so you don’t pull any muscles.
• Play some chilled out music.
• Breathe, and focus on your breath, this makes it so much easier.
• Enjoy your yoga buzz.