This is a post I’ve been wanting to write ever since I started this blog. I love hearing people’s stories of how they came to start practicing yoga, they’re always uplifting and life-affirming. Unfortunately my story has been untold by me for so long because I always meant it to follow my “How I Became Depressed” posts. I never finished my depression story because of one nasty ignorant comment. That one comment made me too scared to share any more personal stories. Maybe I’ll finish one day, one more part should do it!
So I thought I’d start today by recommitting to the yogic path and by delving way way back into my distant past of 2008 and talking about what brought me to yoga.
I was a completely unsporty child and teenager but I did like to dance and I did like to walk everywhere. These two things are crucial to me taking to yoga like a fish to water- dancing for the simple love of moving my body and walking for the being in the moment.
2007 found me being 21, a philosophy student, overweight, unfit and depressed. But change was afoot. One amazon order saw me buy two things- a diet book called the Mediterrasian Way and the New York City Ballet workout. The book I credit with igniting my love of healthy cooking and the dvd saw me start to enjoy exercise.
By early 2008 I had lost about 20% of my bodyweight and was a bit fitter (although not much and I was even more depressed). I decided I wanted to buy an exercise mat and in the window of TK Maxx I saw some yoga mats. Hmm I thought, maybe I would like yoga! I had absolutely no idea what yoga involved, which turned out to be a good thing because I had no prejudices or preconceptions.
I bought a book- the Yoga Bible and a Rodney Yee dvd- Power Yoga Total Body Workout. The dvd was way too advanced for me at that stage so I bought a much gentler one- AM and PM Yoga. I carried that book around like it was the real bible, it was my constant companion for weeks. I was so excited that after all the misery I had something to learn, to enjoy, something new! I read the whole thing front to back, I drank in the asanas, the breathing, I even understood the basic philosophy behind the practice. I knew that this was something that would help me.
Every morning for a few weeks I would start the day with AM Yoga. My knees would be up by my ears sitting cross legged but I would prop myself up and go for it. I knew then, as I lay in savasana in that horrible damp student house that there was something in me other than misery. There was peace possible. I could be at peace.
Since then I haven’t stopped searching for that feeling everyday. Yoga brings me there easier than anything else. My asana practice has evolved and I am doing more of the poses I’d branded ‘impossible’ in my Yoga Bible but the basic hunger for that feeling of being hasn’t gone away. So this is how I came to yoga and this is why I keep coming back to yoga.