I lost my Father suddenly in December 2009 and I struggled for a long time with sleep and grief in general. 3.5 years later it was taking its toll on me working 40 hours a week and not being able to get even one night of uninterrupted sleep.
I attended my first class with the amazing Lisa Fahy and for the first time in 3.5 years I got a full night’s sleep after 1 single class. I continued once a week with restorative yoga and my sleep pattern just turned around completely in no time. Within a few weeks I began to notice profound changes going on with my own mind, how I viewed life, feelings and emotions in general about everything in my life. I was truly intrigued with what was happening and curious to look into it more, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
I eventually decided to try New Beginnings Level 1. One of my first few classes of this was a dark wet dreary Monday night in early January 2014, usually a night when one would be full of the January blues. Yet I left this class and felt really happy smiling to myself driving home. Even more intrigued at this point I starting attending classes at least 3 times a week from that point on. Lisa was my first teacher and her passion, love and dedication to yoga was truly contagious & I just absorbed it.
The mental changes that came with the practice were so profound I haven’t stopped since, now it’s just part of my everyday life. The physical changes have also been amazing but I always consider this a side effect. You cannot pay for inner peace and calmness this practice brings.
How has yoga helped in your everyday life?
It has totally changed every aspect of my life. I work in a corporate tech company, sitting at a computer 5 days a week and at times it’s a highly pressured stressed environment but these days the stress is like water running off a duck’s back & more often than not I just laugh things off, what else can you do?!
Yoga is part of everything in my life, both good and bad. It has made me truly understand how to actually just be, to live in the moment, something my Father always tried teaching me and I couldn’t grasp how to stop the “monkey mind” as Lalit calls it. I have finally learned.
Of course there are times where I have to consciously remind myself that there is no point in stressing out but with my regular practice of Yoga that reminder comes to the forefront so much quicker than anything would have previously. “Take a deep breath” is something we so often hear when in a heightened stressed state yet it’s quickly dismissed and I think in general we have all long forgotten of the real true power of simply our own breath.
Aside from dealing with the stresses of life, as clichéd as it sounds it really has made me realise the beauty in life, how grateful I am to just be here and have this chance to live. Life excites me and what I find most profound is that excitement most days (we all have our down days, so don’t get me wrong!!) is that there is no specific reason attached to it, it’s not dependent on something specific in my life that I have, own, have planned and so on, it’s simply just life itself and that’s something that cannot be taken from me until my time here is up.
Lastly I have found I have changed simple things like how I sit, how I walk and many other normal daily movements to ensure I do it with integrity to prevent long-term damage to muscles, tissues, joints and so on so planning to still be practicing Yoga in my 80s 😉
Which are you favorite classes?
That’s honestly the hardest question as I attend almost all classes and love them all for all different reasons. If I absolutely had to choose then I would say Ashtanga and Peak to Power.
Do you use yogic breathing outside of your yoga classes?
Yes, absolutely. In work I will often take a few minutes out somewhere and do a few rounds of Nadi Shondana. Just sitting at my desk in work I will often stop for a minute to just focus on my breath or the 3 part breath. Anytime I feel a cold or flu coming on I will do a lot more practice of Nadi Shodhona, Ujjayi and Bhramari & I think I have definitely have warded off some nasty symptoms in doing these.
What would you say to somebody considering taking up yoga ?
Don’t take my word for it just go for it, take a class and I promise you will not regret it. Anyone at all can start Yoga anytime in their life, you do not need to be young, fit, flexible or strong to start practicing. Yoga will simply do its thing regardless of your expectations.