What Yoga Means to Me

Ever since I became a mom, people often ask me “how is your yoga coming along?”. Occasionally I’ll pop into poses for the gram, but that’s not really what Yoga is right? It’s more than the poses, the flexibility, the perfect angles. Yoga is a rhythm that connects you with your surroundings, it makes you FEEL. Yoga is love, it’s happiness, it can be whatever you need it to be to help face your fears. It changed me, and made a HUGE difference in my life – this is how I found Yoga.

It all started with Moe – he takes all the credit by the way – when we got married and were faced with the dreaded long distant relationship woes. I was Canadian, Moe was American, and since nothing is easy here in North America, I had to wait for my spousal visa to be approved before I could move to the States. One month went by, two months, four months – we were hitting six months of not living together. You can only imagine our frustration and sadness – no couple should have to live apart. Moe had enough of dealing with my annoyance and one day suggested “why don’t you try a hot yoga class?”. I’m guessing he suggested it so that I could stay busy, make new friends, or maybe he was hinting that I should lose weight – who knows?! I scouted some studios, and geared up for my first yoga class. 

I remember walking into the Yoga studio so meek and shy. I even told the instructor that I didn’t know any of the poses, that I’m not flexible, I gave every excuse to justify why I had never been to a class before. She was kind, told me to look around and try to copy what everyone else was doing. I lied, I knew some poses because I googled Yoga for dummies so that I didn’t embarrass myself. I don’t remember much of my first class besides scanning the room to follow what others were doing. I do remember wanting to come back for more – which is when I signed up for a monthly membership. I began attending 6am classes, got to know people around me, I found a new side of me that I never knew existed. I wasn’t angry at the world for my long distance relationship, I wasn’t angry at all. I learnt time heals things, it solves problems, we just need to take it one breath at a time. Breathe in count to four, breathe out count to four. That’s all you need to remember, everything else will work itself out.

So much had changed, I felt happier, grounded and flexible (perks of practising often!). A friend that I had met at the studio convinced me to participate in yoga challenges on Instagram, and that’s exactly what I did. The challenges pushed me to try new things, and more importantly- not to be afraid. I remember trying a handstand facing the wall, with another friend holding my feet up. Coming out of that pose was the worst fall I had ever experienced, but I brushed it off and tried again. A week later, I gained the strength to kick up against the wall to get into a handstand – that was my milestone is overcoming fears, that reminded me of how strong I was.

Fast forward to my first pregnancy, I was still practicing poses, but was careful about the do’s and don’ts. After our loss, I crawled into a hole and let darkness consume me – I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere, I was depressed beyond belief. I had to find myself again, and the first step I took was to remind myself that is was not my fault. I downloaded a meditation app and practised healing my mind. It took a lot from me to roll out that yoga mat – but I did it. I took it one day at a time, and a short (by “short” I mean ridiculously long) while later I found out we were pregnant again. Was I terrified? Hell yes. But I had to remind myself – breathe in four, breathe out four. Breathe in four. Breathe our four.

Breathe in four. Breathe out four.

Fast forward to now, one monster later, when Lyla is screaming because I took away MY phone, all I need to remember is breathe. Whether it’s going to a yoga class, practising at home, posing for the gram, or even lying in bed listening to a guided meditation, Yoga is a part of my daily routine. “How is your yoga coming along?” – “I’m here, happy and healthy, my yoga is coming along just fine”.

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