Originally published: 23.09.16
I have practiced yoga for over twenty years now, most of it at home on my own, sometimes attending classes and more off than on if I am honest. Since I got sick I have done yoga every morning as a way to help my body heal, gain strength and cope with stress, which has an enormous detrimental affect on me.
For the most part it has been quite difficult. Mornings can be tough for me and I am often incredibly painful and sore, getting moving is an effort of will and doing yoga would sometimes feel like it was something I had to force myself to do in order for my body to work and keep moving.
Sometimes I would sit on the mat and stare at the floor as I had to will myself to move into the next position.
I haven’t been able to go to class since I got ill, as I haven’t had the strength to keep up with the more advanced classes, and I even struggle in the restoration class. Which hurt my ego so damn much that I just wasn’t able to go. See the restoration class is full of old people or pregnant people and my brain kept telling me that I used to be really good at this and I should be able to BETTER YOGA than everyone else. Yep, I practiced competitive yoga. Which pretty much sums up how I lived my life before I got ill. Stupid huh? That might give you a bit of an indication as to how I got so sick so quickly and how my life fell apart.
At the start of this month I booked in a one to one class with my old teacher to see if she could help me out of my yoga practice rut that I had gotten myself into. And boy did she. About two weeks later I have practiced every single day and I am feeling so strong. Across my whole body, which is brilliant. Even more amazing is during this mornings’ practice I felt a deep sense of joy rush through my body and stay there for a good couple of hours. I enjoyed moving my body and feeling it flex and stretch, I have not felt joyful about my body for quite some time. It has been a bit of an adversary for me to over come, to fight back against, I have been working on that attitude for a couple of months now and this feels like a significant step forward.
It was a beautiful moment and I am so grateful to yoga and, of course, my teacher. More than that I feel like I have got my yoga mojo back and I will be able to start going to classes again soon. Regardless, I will book another session with my teacher for October to develop and stretch my practice even more.
I have often felt that yoga held a key for me and my life, but I just haven’t been able to get to it before now. I have been missing something, this morning I felt like I caught a glimpse of how amazing it can be in my life and I just need to keep on practicing.
Jen Farrant: Feminist writing about art, freelancing, creativity, education, and coming to terms with being disabled