This is a sentence that you hear A LOT when people are talking about yoga. It’s almost like the golden question that everyone wishes to know: How it will happen? When it will happen? and what kind of yoga made it happen? Well I want to share with you my story and what I believe many of us are saying when we claim that ‘Yoga changed my body’.
Cut back to 8 years ago before my yoga practice began and to the say the very least, I still had youth on my side, so back pain or discomfort, headaches and such things didn’t really register on my scale as important. I knew they were there but they were so far down on my list of priorities that they were not worth thinking about.
I was in fact very disconnected from my own body. I suffered every year with sinus infections and then a very persistent annoying cough, had a lot of difficulty breathing in general, I regularly had headaches, and back pain had been a part of my life since as long as I could remember.
Sweating Balls & Mental Torture
Then yoga happened! One day my friend Lauren called me and said I’m going to Bikram Yoga come with me! I jumped at the opportunity, not really having any idea about what it entailed. Lauren’s only advice to me was ‘Be prepared to sweat balls’
That first yoga class was, in that moment, the worst and the best thing I had ever done! In my mind I hated every second of it but my body was loving it! I left there feeling mentally like I had been tortured, but physically like I was walking on clouds.
The Light Goes On
This was the moment that the light inside turned on. It became apparent to me the level of disconnection I had with my own body. I had no idea that breathing could be so difficult, I also was completely unaware of the things my body was capable of!
This new awareness of my body came with mixed feelings. As the light turned on inside I could finally see all of the things that were hidden away in the dark, some of them positive and some of them a little self destructive.
I realised I had been neglecting my body in a big way, I didn’t give it the attention or care that it deserved, I was walking around believing that my body would support me no matter how I treat it.
With this light now shining inside of me, despite how regularly (or not regularly) I was practicing yoga, I could not go back to that level of disconnection with my body. In fact with every breath and every step I took, my consciousness of the importance of the body only grew.
The Body Unlocks It’s Secrets
This is when my body began to change, when I decided to explore the limits of my body and breath in every yoga class, when I took my attention so deep inside that I could identify the muscles inside my body. When I began to be present and aware of my actions while practicing, I was giving my body my full undivided attention every time I stepped on the mat, and in return my body was showing me, little by little, the scale of its potential.
I am sure you are curious to know which were the main changes I found with practice, which don’t include being able to do a handstand or having a six pack!
- Back pain gone!
- Increased hand eye coordination
- Breathing easier ( bye bye sinus infections)
- Strength in the arms and wrists
- Better balance
- No more headaches
This really was just the beginning of the multitude of ways that yoga has changed my body. And subsequently I have also been able to tone my body, build muscle and increase my flexibility.
Give Yourself What You Need
Really what all of this translates to for me is that I live at ease within my body, I have a greater understanding of what it needs, and how to take care of myself physically and emotionally. I still get headaches occasionally and every now and then experience back pain, but through all of this I know how to alleviate my symptoms, I know the triggers that caused it and how to feel better, and most importantly, I then give myself what I need.
How Yoga can change our body!
- Be present inside your body when practicing yoga
- Respect your limits (don’t push too hard)
- Pay attention to your breathing (it can change your life)
- Be kind to yourself!
So really we can say that yoga changed my body by opening my mind and by allowing me to have a greater connection to myself.