Monday, 21 March 2016

Throughout our lives we are often encouraged to concentrate on what we CAN do rather than what we have difficulties with  –  for example at school:  no ear for languages, no artistic eye, don’t worry concentrate on sciences! In play: not supple, don’t worry with gymnastics instead use your speed and play hockey instead, be a sprinter!

I enrolled in the beginners yoga course in May last year as a start to reclaim myself. I had sat at a desk for 13 years and was unfit, overweight and struggled to move my body in any shape resembling a pose.  My hips and shoulders felt locked, my hands and arms were weak and I berated myself each lesson for what my body had become.

In many sports we can adapt a golf swing, a running or swimming style to suit our bodies. But in a yoga class – there are no excuses! Hands and feet must be placed with precision, legs and arms straightened, questions asked of the body … and mine screamed back-what are you doing to me?

In 2016 a few things have changed, I no longer work, I completed a long distance (1000km) walk which made me fitter, stronger and more confident but no more supple after carrying a heavy backpack. So back to another beginners course in January and I am ready for more conversations with my body but slightly more forgiving this time.

Repeating the beginners course was really helpful- I began to understand the ‘rinsing action’ in the legs, the names of the poses are more familiar. I still struggle every class and more attention to my practice is required but I enjoy the process and feel more balanced. Progress is being made!

Thank you yoga, thank you Polly and Vera.

Liz Smith

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