My yoga journey has taken me on some pretty interesting places over the last few years.
Up until five years ago I was what you could refer to as a yoga novice, familiar with the concept of yoga but with very little practical experience (apart from a yoga class I took at Uni where the instructor who was an 83 year old man told me my feet smelled - needless to say I didn't go back!).
I knew it was good for you and it could help with stress and anxiety but I was a bit too busy to fit it into my daily life. After losing my job in a busy recruitment company in London to redundancy I found myself with a very large redundancy pay packet and not many job opportunities so I decided I would volunteer at a local yoga centre ( The Special Yoga Centre which specialises in providing yoga therapy to children with special needs) and get free yoga classes in return. That was the turning point in my life. I attended my first class where I could barely do a downward dog and never looked back.
Fast forward five years and I'm a qualified yoga teacher who has been to the land of Yoga (India for those not in the know), and I practice almost daily now. My downward dog has most definitely improved and I can say with certainty that this is something I want and need to keep up with for the rest of my life.
It helps me connect to that part of me that I know is there but now always so easy to access. If I'm having a bad day (of which there are plenty) even a ten minute yoga practice will turn my day around. In short Yoga saves me. It gives me courage to face my demons, my fears and the challenges that sometimes seem insurmountable.
You might ask yourself if this is true, I mean surely it's just some stretching and breathing. But for reasons unknown to me, when you achieve or succeed in a posture it gives you a feeling of pride (this probably goes against the yogi texts but I don't care!) and makes you feel that if you can achieve something that you thought was impossible than anything is possible!
Maintaining a yoga practice whilst on the road and being mama to a little toddler is not easy to say the least but it is possible. Just like that impossible yoga posture it requires patience, courage and a little bit of determination. Basically if you really want to do it you'll find a way. We've been on the road almost three months and I can safely say we are settled and absolutely loving it. The freedom is beautiful and we are drinking it in as much as possible. Not having to worry about bills and rent and being tired form working too much, all of these things have disappeared and instead we are left with a feeling of possibility and hope for the future.
Winter is approaching and with that more talk of travels (of course!). When I first met my partner Ben, after a whirlwind six week romance, we jetted off to Indonesia where we spent two months on a deserted island. This September will be our seventh year together and we have decided to return to Bali for six months as a kind of way to celebrate our relationship.
I have my reasons for going ( namely the BaliSpirit Festival which is a yoga mecca of amazing teachers, yogis, spiritual healers you name it! I've been dying to go there for years and years and this year it's going to happen) and Ben even though he won't admit it has an unnatural obssession with bamboo and I know he is just dying to go out there and experiment with it.
Again like with everything the key is patience believing that everything works out the way it is supposed to. I've discovered over the years that Yoga is a journey, a life long journey, something to be chipped away at . Some days its feels like the journey is an exciting one filled with opportunities and boundless possibilities. Some days it feels like the journey is a burden, a neverending struggle. But most days it feels good, it's a place to check in with how you are feeling, a place to test your limits and a place to soothe your soul.