10 things I learned about yoga:
- YouTube is amazing and you can basically learn anything you want off it. Even something as impossible as yoga.
- Telling friends that I was doing yoga for the first time will get responses like “OMG, but isn’t that so boring?” or “But you’re so young, why would you want to waste your time?” It made me realise that Malaysians have this weird misconception that all people do when they practice yoga is chant “Ohm” as well as meditate for 5 hours, which leads to the bad reputation it receives for being boring. It actually makes me extremely sad because yoga is out of this world.
- Yoga is not something one falls in love with straight away, like any relationship, it takes time and effort.
- It is not something you do for somebody else. It is not a worshipping exercise either. It is, as I have learned, a very personal experience. A practice in an appreciation of self. In a world where we all are supposed to look a certain way, feel a certain way and be a certain way, it is so easy to get lost. We lose appreciation towards what we have and who we are. To get so lost in the misconception that somebody else has the right to tell us how to live our lives. With yoga, I learnt how to remember what I want, how to balance not just my poses, but my life.
- Yoga will not give you superpowers or a sudden surge of confidence to conquer the world. That, my friend, is on you. Yoga practices are just there to remind us that we are fluid, constantly changing and that we should all be a little easier on ourselves. We should also stop comparing our behind-the-scenes moments to somebody else’s highlight points.
- Falling on your face while attempting to do a headstand will happen.
- With every stretch, yoga will open you up and with every bend, it will accept your mistakes. Yoga is a very forgiving practice, a reminder of what we have not been so kind as to offer ourselves.
- Your mind will wander to thoughts like “mmmm, pizza” during practices. Like I said, yoga is a very forgiving practice. Forgive yourself.
- Do not be fooled. Yoga poses are tough and they will make your body ache. My favorite yoga pose is the “can I just lie here forever and not move?”
- I learned that yoga can be fancy. It can have its inversions and hardcore poses. It can be simplistic and graceful. It can be one hour sessions or one minute sessions. It can, in short be anything you want it to be.
So, step back. Calm your mind, stretch it out and take a deep breath. Yoganna feel better after that.
Photo credit: Caroline Siew