Do you like yoga?
I went to see a therapist a couple of years ago who suggested I try yoga to help ease the anxiety I was having - and she said it might help with my psoriasis, too. I left her office, thanking her for her advice, but rolling my eyes on the bus home, thinking it was a load of old nonsense. I mean, how good for my brain - or my skin - could a load of stretching be?
Well, when I eventually gave it a go, I found out exactly HOW good it was.
My first step into the world of yoga was nervously standing in a studio heated to 42 degrees C, on a sweat-soaked bath towel and trying to touch my toes. My eyes darted around the room, forcing myself down into positions my body had never been in before and trying my best to keep up with the flow of the class. I'd never heard of downward dog or camel pose. It was like a weird language. I woke up the next morning and hobbled around the flat, my husband laughing. Just reaching up into the kitchen cupboard for a mug REALLY hurt. Everywhere.
I started to eat more healthily. I walked around with a smile on my face, rather than a constant worried frown. All the chaos that happens in this frantic world bounced off me, whereas before I'd grab some and cling to it, worrying about something or other, that I couldn't even control. I felt more peaceful. I argued less. I craved sugar a lot less, and subsequently lost loads of weight. And I could touch my toes without bending my knees, probably for the first time since I was 11 years old. And not only that, but within a few weeks I started gliding into the positions and didn't wobble when I stood on one leg. I am still adamant that I would win the big money on the TV show The Cube if, right at the end, I got the challenge where you have to stand on one leg. My husband might as well leave the studio and book that holiday.
All that, from STRETCHING. Seriously.
I'm not sure what it is, but yoga seemed to be the missing piece in the puzzle for me healing from autoimmune disease. Even now, if I go up to do even half an hour of yoga, it'll be like a switch that helps me feel at peace with myself, especially first thing in the morning or last thing at night, before bed. It's incredible, and I tell everyone that they should do yoga. All the mums at school are probably sick of hearing about it. Got tummy ache? Do yoga. Tense shoulders from typing all day? Do yoga. If my children get tummy ache, I get them to do Lord of the Fishes and other twisting poses and it helps them. All good, all natural stuff.
I loved yoga. But the problem for me was that going into town for the classes 2-3 times a week was sometimes a bit of a struggle. There were no local classes, so I had to add on an hour travelling time to the hour and a half classes I used to go to. I also had to take into account the ever-rising bus fares along with the membership. Sometimes, because of workload, or ill children, I couldn't get to classes. But I'd still be paying for them. It became harder and harder for me to find time to fit in with the few times a day that the classes were on. After a year and a half, I cancelled my membership at the studio and started practicing more at home. But then sometimes you want to check your posture is right, and there's no one there.
So when I found out about an online yoga course that you can do when it suits you, I had to tell you about it. It's called Yoga for Healing. It launched yesterday, and it's designed so that you can sign up and take part whenever it suits you. I've actually watched the videos and practiced along with it (the laptop perched on the top of the cupboard in the lounge, in front of me and my mat). It's not complicated, and Tera is really down to earth in the videos, taking the time to help you focus on your intention and reason for the practice, rather than just the physical aspect of stretching. You can also pause and go over a pose again, if you're not sure. I love this idea, because I think it fits in with busy lifestyles.
Sometimes we start yoga with the best intentions to help calm our lives, but our lives are still too manic that we don't have time to do it. This online course solves that problem. Do you think it might help you? Do go check it out.