A while ago, one of my Instagram followers asked me to blog about my yoga journey and I’ve finally got around to doing it.
I get asked all the time how long I’ve been doing yoga and it’s usually after I’ve performed some kind of bendy shape with my feet on my head.
I guess in a way my yoga journey started when I was five years old and started gymnastics, as that’s where I found my love for all things bendy and spending my time upside-down, but I didn’t actually start practicing yoga until about 2.5 years ago, when I wanted to find a way to maintain my flexibility despite not being able to do gymnastics anymore.
Even though my past as a gymnast and dancer has had a huge effect on my strength and flexibility, it is also down to a condition I have, known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Type 3. This condition, the thing that helped make me bendy and graceful as a dancer in my teens, was actually the reason I ended up having my dreams of being a dancer ruined. One of the features of EDS is having very lax ligaments, making the range of movement in your joints much greater, hyper-mobile if you like, but therefore making those who have it more prone to injury.
An Important Lesson
I wasn’t sure at first that yoga would be for me. As I was so used to impactful, high energy activities, I honestly thought I’d find it boring. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first class I ever went to was actually with my mum at our local leisure centre and I was so lucky that it just so happened to be with a really amazing teacher. Nothing too spiritual (at the time, I wasn’t sure that side of yoga was for me), but tough enough to challenge me.
I learnt something very important in that class: yes, I was very flexible, but I wasn’t strong enough to support my bendiness. Julia, the teacher, made a few comments that made me realise this and from that point on I’ve been hooked. For a while I just used yoga as a way to get stronger and support myself in the more advanced poses, but now, over two years on, I live and breathe it. I love everything from a short soothing flow when I’m fresh out of bed in the morning, to a more intense and fast-slowing sun power yoga class. Oh and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll also know that I’m partial to the odd handstand no matter where I am!
An Exciting Future for Me & Yoga
So this is me and yoga right now, but things are looking very exciting for the future! This is probably the perfect time to tell you all that in October this year I’ll be embarking on my 200hr yoga teacher training course with the awesome Yoga London and I just can’t wait. I’m never one to wish the time away, but I really do wish October would hurry up!