I want to tell you a story that will answer many questions I get about my yoga practice.
During my holiday visit to see my family a few years ago, I had an epiphany. I saw myself in a guest who I’ve never met before. Not in a good way. I saw a man who is sad. Who has a heavy heart. Who is preoccupied with all the wrong things. The problem is, he is almost 70. I’m not even half that age.
So, what do you do?
I guess, you do your best to sort out your life and your priorities.
I am not perfect nor I am aiming to be. I am a social smoker. This link has kept me company for a couple of years now. I leave dishes in a sink. I swear.
But I guess everyone has their flaws, don’t they? I figured I need something to balance my sins out. Raise my self-esteem. So many things in life come down to self-confidence it’s astounding.
At first I wanted to do meditation. But sitting with your eyes closed in the early morning hardly sounds like something I could actually do. Instead, I took up an afternoon yoga practice. I went once or twice with my friends but their schedules didn’t work for me.
So, I decided to try yoga at home.
My first day
Took my attire, a yoga mat and my YouTube Yoga 101-playing laptop and went to the living room. No one is home – I can do this.
I sit down. I get up. I need water.
I come back. OK, now I should start. I get up again and unpause the video. The man is talking too much, when will start doing stuff? I et up and switch to the part where the host and his followers are stretching.
I remember trying to clumsily follow the action by peaking but also trying to do exactly what they do.
If I had to evaluate yoga on that day, I would’ve told you it’s the most frustrating thing in the world. What is this nonsense?
But, it appears, you get better. If you just continue, show up and try again. It becomes easier. It hurts less. Who would’ve thought?
My advice to beginners
First and foremost, don’t be afraid to start. It doesn’t have to be a complicated practice moving from the Lotus to the Lord of the Dance.
Make it a 5 minute ‘Sit down and stretch session’. You need nothing more, really. Remember, every move will be alien to you. It will be uncomfortable and sore. You don’t want to shock either your body nor your mind by taking up yoga that is more intensive than it is required.
Make it a regular appointment. Find a place at home and time when you can practice yoga every day. You don’t actually have to practice. But you must show up.