Great question, in all honesty it’s not actually writing LOL. I’m not sure if I should really admit to that. That said, I must be real and as I considered this question at this moment in time, I sincerely wish I could do more yoga every day.
In particular this yoga asana here called Pincha Mayurasana it has been a dream for many years! I attended my first yoga class in the depths of south London, when I was around nineteen or twenty years old. I was a member of a gym called Fitness First I don’t even know if they are still around, but anyway I first discovered the yoga mat here. My first class was a Hatha style yoga class which I enjoyed, as this style of yoga is focused on breath work and holding the asanas.
How Did My Love Develop?
Well, I think it was more the teacher that really sparked my love for yoga. After I attended the first Hatha style class and experienced for the first time the feeling I had physically, mentally, and emotionally after I went on to do more of his classes. My teacher was a mature man, probably in his fifties at the time ( this was about twenty years ago), very flexible, dynamic, gave great instruction, played attention to all his students, and had a ‘vibe’ to him which was a bit hippy like and I liked it. He really held my attention and made me want to do the best I could, I found him encouraging, his name was Frank, and yep you guessed it his classes were always PACKED. You had to get there early to get a good spot in Frank’s classes.
He taught Vinyasa and Ashtanga style classes which are much, much more dynamic and focused not so much on holding the poses, but the flow from one asana pose to another using the breath. This I love, love, love, oh my gosh I love it!! I fell in love with both these styles of yoga. I bought a yoga mat from Frank, and completely abandoned the gym LOL. I remember paying an expensive gym membership and only going to yoga class and the sauna, and occasionally running on the treadmill. But Frank’s classes were well worth the gym membership fee to me.
I moved from the area and stopped my classes, in fact I didn’t practice for many, many years, after going at least twice a week for a good year. I did notice the changes in my body during that year and after, but I could not do the Pincha Mayurasana pose yet!
From Yoga Student To Yoga Teacher and Fanatic!
So fast forward may be ohhh I’d say about six years of being out of practice since I first started at around nineteen/twenty years old, and then trying to restart it again at home, and spotting an offer on a yoga teacher’s course. This is what happened, if you remember the website Wowcher I don’t even know if they are still around, I bought an online course from their deals to work towards gaining a qualification to teach yoga. Even though I was out of practice and very inflexible and unfit. I wanted to study the art of it more for me, I had no intention of ever teaching. I sadly I didn’t complete the course on my first attempt, life happened, I was taken in different directions, I was with a terrible ex-partner at the time, and my lack of energy meant that this goal was left behind.
That said, once I got my shit together, left the most horrid relationship I have ever had, and moved on in life I slowly went back to it. I would try to make the effort but this was mainly with online videos and not via formal classes.
At the start of the pandemic a wonderful blessing happened, since my first attempt at yoga teacher training in my mid-twenties the process had changed. It meant that you had to go away to a retreat and do it in person, a 200 or 300 hour course in a remote place ( normally somewhere very exotic mind you), and it cost an arm and a leg! It excluded many yoga lovers, aspiring teachers, and people like me who just want to study it, qualify, and not necessarily teach! This was due to the cost of it, and having to upsticks for a week or more to go there.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 everything moved online. Somehow I ended up with a promotional email announcing that you could now do your teacher training and study online! No in person trips to India, Barley, or an exotic location. I jumped at it, bought the course and it was only a few hundred dollars. Normally it would be a few thousand dollars. The cost reduction was due to the pandemic I would imagine. I did my 200 hour training course via a company called Yoga Renew, it was fantastic, the online videos, course materials, Zoom calls, free resources, everything about it was just amazing. Then I managed to get the same offer for the 300 hour course so you can qualify as an advanced yoga teacher, so of course I took it and paid it when it was on offer.
Now, I still can’t get into Pincha Mayurasana pose and I am still no where near as flexible and fit as I would want to be, but for me the rational for undertaking yoga teacher training has never really been to teach. It has and still is all about me! My love for the practice, how it makes me feel once I am done, and during the sessions is something I really can’t put into words, it’s a whole vibe!
So anyway, as of this moment I am working on my 300 hour course which is focused more on the ‘yogi lifestyle,’ philosophy, history, and spiritual side of the practice. Normally, when one thinks of yoga we think of the poses (asanas) and the visual form of yoga. Seeing a person bend themselves like a pretzel into a cool shape really is cool! Even for me after a twenty-one year love affair with yoga, but this is just one side of yoga and the very ‘western’ or Instagram approach to yoga. The 300 hour course teaches you this principle. My reason for undertaking the 300 hour was to make yoga a life-long learning process and habit… as I practice moving into Pincha Mayurasana pose also! And to understand the roots of the practice, the theology of it and where it comes from. We also study anatomy in more detail and eating habits. All this is something that does interest me a lot.
How Much Yoga Would I Do A Day?
I’ll keep it real with you, I find it so hard in the winter months to make time for my practice, and this is because I like to do it in the morning as soon as I wake up. I find it hard ( when it is cold) to really want to get on my mat and stretch. I aim for at least twenty mins each morning, even if all I do is stretch. This has not always been consistent and comes in dribs and drabs sometimes LOL. But I do make an effort. Because as I write this I am aiming to finish my 300 hour yoga teacher’s advanced course in 2023, I am being more strict about doing some yoga daily or minimum three times a week. If I had more time I would do at least one- two hours each day, every day, I would love to also do it outside near water somewhere. I would also like to explore the different types of yoga too.
If I had more time, I would love to go to a class… actually I probably could if I am honest, I just need to find one local to me that I like. Now that’s an idea as I write this. I think if I had a community of other yoga lovers I belonged to, I would be much more likely to keep it up, and that is saying something to me personally as I write this! I do follow may popular yoga teacher’s on YouTube and often do the lessons that the post though.
My Favourite Asanas ( Poses)
- Pincha Mayurasana obviously! I think that it’s the look of it I like. The perfect social media ‘good morning’ post.
- Pigeon Pose I really enjoy.
- Sun Salutations I adore
- Moon Salutations I love.
- Low and High Lung.
- Runner’s Pose.
- King Dancer’s pose- I adore.
- Downward Facing Dog- I really love.
This list is pretty endless, it’s hard to pin point just one. I would say for sure there is not a yoga asana that I don’t like, or avoid. I give them all a try even if I can’t do it perfectly.
I really do love this form of exercise, I think it really is one that connects and addresses balance and good feelings in the mind, body, and soul. This also spills over into your daily life, which is what I like about it too. If you really apply yourself to the concept of yoga and detach during your practice, you will be taken to a place you’ve never experienced and always want to go back to.
What about you, what would you do more of? Do you do yoga?