Hi there! Yes I’m here to write my yoga story and yes I also hear the vocal, “Oh, not another inspirational 18 minute-documentation” and all I can say is, this is not for you. This story is for all the girls who’ve always felt so-so about their bodies, hadn’t done anything too crazy with diet or exercise but managed to stay “average” and who found yoga and grew to love it.
I know I’m not alone here and there will be at least three among seven of you who never did any sports just because and later as adults found solace in yoga and meditation.
Before proceeding, I think it’s important to set some context. I’m a Malay-Buddhist mixed tropical child from the sunny island of Sri Lanka. One thing about Sri Lankan Malays we all should know is that there is a tendency that inclines towards what I call “let’s-put-on-weight-in-places-that-are-difficult-to-lose-places.” I know right. Thankfully it’s only the maternal half that brought these genes along, so my concerns have somewhat being mitigated by those perfect-fitting, bum-captivating jeans from Forever21… #legit.
Once school was out, I ran off to India to read for my degree in English. Local universities took a little too long to get in; by “academic standards” I was average and hence would obviously not get in (and India was probably the only place the single-mum household could afford).
It was in India did I discover yoga in wanting to live up to the yoga-India cliché, you know? I took a four-week yoga course at a local gym after making small sacrifices from my monthly mommy-sent allowance and loved every bit of it (even if it included waking up at 0630h on weekend mornings). I think I did six out of the eight classes (or five, maybe), which is credible achievement for not-at-all-early birds.
Once the four weeks came to an end, I found myself climbing the three stories of my apartment (unfortunately there was no elevator) without panting while holding on a very long conversation without gasping for my life and also practiced as much as I could in my little home-yoga space until I would fall asleep during savasana. Now I deliberately sit to meditate and relax to avoid falling asleep and somehow this works better.
But this was nearly three years ago. I then stumbled upon Erin quite randomly on Do You Yoga, and after trying out a couple of her classes (that 30-day yoga challenge tho) and a few other teachers, I knew I had hit home. There was something reassuring about Erin’s practice that didn’t scare the life out of me. I was not afraid to do yoga and trusted my body by letting it take charge.
After not-too continuous yoga, I still cannot do a handstand or other inversions but that doesn’t bother me too much. Okay maybe it does a little, but I have a semi-serious wrist injury that I know I shouldn’t exert.
Instead of inversions, I have found strength, stability, stamina and *await the cringe* inner peace through my yoga practice and meditation. Since of recent, I have also incorporated bits and bobs of cardio, Pilates and other forms of exercise as well, which will always wind up with a nice flow that I put together pulling poses and flows from Erin and a couple of other places.
If anyone wants to start with some basic yoga, do find a yoga teacher if possible or Google for a few tutorials (I just have to plug in that Bad Yogi recommendation) if it’s too expensive or too-fancay as it is here in Colombo. Yoga over here is synonymous with extravagance for the fancay, killer outfits and stunning Instagram posts. If yoga is not for you, find a form of physical activity that you love to do best and you wouldn’t even realize that it’s exercise for your body.
Om and hugs!