Just over two years ago, I began taking Prana yoga classes at my workplace as part of a centre-wide wellness initiative. I have always been interested in yoga and over the years have taken various classes here and there. I have a close friend who is a yoga instructor and she has been gently urging me for the past twenty years to start to practice. When we began our classes many of us were fairly new to yoga. Our teacher, Laura, guided us gently and carefully through each class. I remember after some of those early classes I felt a new sense of peacefulness wash over me during savasana and at the same time, a new energy. I began to look forward to our weekly class and even started practicing at home in between classes. Sometimes I would lie in bed at night and practice my breathing and astonishingly fall into the most delicious sleep! Over the months I started to feel stronger, both in mind and body. I was more focused and less stressed, and felt a calmness previously unknown to me (I have been referred to as a hotheaded redhead in the past!).
So, my yoga journey had begun in earnest. My workplace began offering two weekly Prana classes over the lunch hour, and so I began to go more often. I started to feel healthier and as a result, about a year ago I began a weight loss program to compliment my practice. In June of this year, our workplace classes ended for the summer, so I approached our teacher, Laura, to ask about community yoga classes. I wanted a similar yoga instruction style as hers, and felt ready to join a studio. Laura recommended that I try Shangrila Yoga as she felt it would be a good fit for me. Well, she was right! I now attend four to five classes a week at Shangrila, having had the immense benefit of practicing all summer and fall on their fabulous outdoor deck, and being a part of their community. I have since lost 40 pounds, and feel stronger than I have felt in many years (I am 57 years old). I have learned to really empty my mind (that took a while!) and gained the freedom and peace associated with learning this. Each class I take I feel like bits of bubble wrap are popping inside me and releasing long held tensions and feelings. I am also learning to do a headstand-now that’s a rush!!
When I was asked to tell my story, I thought to myself “I don’t have a ‘story’, I just started doing yoga”. Then I thought of all the ways my life has changed and been enriched in the past two years, and of all the day to day things I incorporate into my life because of my yoga practice. I credit Laura, for moving me forward in the most skilled and gentle way, and for helping me to develop confidence in knowing a new and better way forward in life.
Namaste and Peace,