For some of you who have been following along you might wonder why I’m such a yoga freak doing so much yoga? It might seem a bit obsessive to do both a 90 minutes session of Ashtanga in the morning and then another 90 minutes of Flow in the evening, 6 days a week. As much as I love yoga and what it does to me there is a purpose after all. I’m not just an obsessive yoga freak. I’m basically preparing for a Yoga Teacher Training course in May!
I’m so excited over this that I still find it unreal. This is something that I have wanted to do since 2012/2013. I know that’s like 3 years of stepping it up. Where did this thought start? Me? A yoga teacher? It all started with me working in a fun but stressful creative advertising environment as a Project Manager in London. To balance up all deadlines and requests and angry clients, I took up Bikram yoga again and started to go daily every morning. I loved it, the way it made me feel, sweat all sorrows and stress out and have glowing skin in the winter. If you have never tried hot yoga before, try! It’s unlikely anything that you have experienced.
So first I wanted to do a Bikram yoga training in the US (this was before all of those lawsuits against Mr Bikram). But, I found it terribly expensive, it also seemed to be more of a “factory training” with so many students, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this kind of voice led yoga. I’m more of a “hands-on” person and I do like variety and doing different things every day. Then there were all the excuses. Some how it’s really difficult after 25 to take 1 month off to do something for yourself. I actually find this absurd.
Holidays pass by to see family back in my home country about twice a year. A little bit of time to just wind out and then there is no more time. Then economically, Yoga Teacher trainings are quite expensive so it requires a certain investment. Not sure if it’s like this for everyone, but I find it was really hard to save money in London. So time passed by and no teacher training. Just some yoga, and then less yoga.
Either way, the seed was planted. Since last year I’ve been browsing, scrolling, making lists and plans for yoga teacher trainings all around the world. After Bikram, I was going to do a Hot Yoga training in Thailand. Then I decided on Vinyasa, I even applied to this course and got accepted. Then the course got withdrawn and I was going to do it with these two “hot yogis” who are famous doing acro yoga together.
I did some more research, practiced some more and with time all pieces fell into place. I think Hot Yoga is really good for someone who is new to yoga, especially if you live in a cold country. The poses are fairly easy, everyone gets the benefits of the postures and it’s great to get into shape without too much effort. Having said that it can be really challenging to hold a pose in 40 degrees heat! But the difficulty comes more from the heat than the yoga posture itself. I would say it’s great for stressed office people, or maybe if you have injuries.
With Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga though, I have completely fallen in love. I find it to be the perfect fit for me. It’s both disciplined with a sense of routine and progress. Mixing Ashtanga with Vinyasa Flow, makes it more playful and I can practice other things and bake in some pranayama breathing exercises and meditation. I find with this type of yoga it’s more about the whole yoga experience. The breathing, the strength, flexibility, the mind, and not only the heat.
The key for progressing in yoga is to have a regular practice with the same teacher. I started last year to take up a regular practice. Not once or twice per week, but 4-5 times per week and going to classes at least 2-3 times per week. In the beginning, it’s important to go to classes to make sure you get the right adjustments from a teacher. Once you know the basics you can set up your own practice.
I think that’s the hardest part. Planning for some “me” time, and be disciplined enough to do your practice at home. The truth is, that the more you practice, the easier it becomes. If I practiced 1-2 times per week now it would just be painful. It has become part of my daily routine, same as having breakfast or taking a shower. If I don’t do yoga for 3-4 days, I start to feel really bad, have pain and feel “sluggish”.
So here I am, practicing 8-11 classes per week and preparing myself to the training course that is finally about to happen! It will for sure be very challenging with two daily asana classes in a tropical climate. I was thinking that if I’m well prepared and strong beforehand, I can focus more on the other parts and maybe not get so overwhelmed by this yoga immersion. It does sound like a paradise for me. Yoga immersion from morning to evening, live, practice, breathe, eat and sleep yoga.
For sure that will be a life changing experience! As of for making it happen, I’ve just decided that this has more importance than anything else right now in my life. If not now then when? Regardless if it’s yoga or something else you always wanted to do. I still find it ridiculous that it has to be so hard to do this kind of things in society. Most companies don’t give more than 2-3 weeks of holiday at the time. In reality, that is not that much. And that’s in Europe.
So now you know why I’m practicing this much. It’s all part of something bigger.