Like all journey’s in life, my path to yoga wasn’t totally smooth, and it still isn’t… that’s the way I like it.
From my very first yoga class, I was a convert, yet it still took me a while to build a strong and regular practice. Some years later, I was ready to go deeper as I had realised how important it was to allow the practice of yoga to be a part of my life.
My journey began in an old church hall in Kununurra WA in about 2003 with a mate who was studying to be a hatha yoga teacher. Like a moth to a flame, I very quickly loved the soft gentle movements, breathing and savasana…. ooh the savasana! I wondered why I hadn’t found yoga earlier!
When we moved to Townsville in 2004 I continued yoga whilst I finished uni, then lost it two years later when I found a full time stressful job, when I felt I didn’t have time to practice- probably the worst time to stop practicing.
A couple of years later circa 2008 I was in the beginning stages of burnout and found yoga again. I tried a few teachers and places, and by the following year I was again a regular attender to class- I had found my teacher and my practice. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I had found a way to heal myself.
My mind was out of balance and full of anxiety, so my therapy had unknowingly become my weekly yoga class. With the wise guidance of my teacher I felt challenged and inspired, and slowly began to find balance and perspective. This was soon not enough, it would take me another 2 stubborn years to leave my stressful job and I so I needed more therapy (yoga). This is when I began to practice at home.
I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began with ten minutes of sun salutations, and built my practice from there. I used inspiration from my weekly class, yoga books and dvd’s to slowly build in more movement and meditation.I moved out of town to Alligator Creek, it became harder to get to a class, and I realised that I had a lovely space at home, so I began practicing in what is now my studio. I must have needed more therapy and to find a path away from my stressful job, so I began an online yoga teacher training course.
I finally got the courage to leave my job, and began to teach. I simplified my life and spent time reconnecting with myself. I spent time gardening, practicing and teaching in my little sanctuary at Alligator Creek. I had found a way to heal myself and share yoga with others. A year later I became pregnant with my little boy.
Why do I love yoga so much?
- From that first class, yoga has always made me feel better. Every time. Practicing turns my bad mood into a better one, it helps me find balance and perspective, it fills me with joy and energy and helps me find that peaceful part within myself.
Why is a home practice so important?
- My home practice allowed yoga to become a part of my daily life. While I always enjoy attending a yoga class, my practice is tailored to what I need (or can manage) whenever I step onto my mat, at any particular point in this journey that is life.
- My practice has healed me from burnout, simply by showing up, and by dedicating my practice to loving kindness. This helped me to stop judging myself as much, accept the present moment and let go of the past.
- My practice led me to teaching other’s in my desire to be of service, and to bring yoga deeper into my life.
- My practice has taken me through three pregnancies and motherhood with much joy and also a little devastation thrown in.
- My practice is different now than it was when I started 13 years ago. I am much stronger, fitter, flexible and balanced, but I know I have a long way to go. There’s always an asana I want to master and I am often hard on myself for not meditating as much as I think I should.
Some parting wisdom?
Yoga for me is different to what it is for you. Practice without judgement and don’t worry about what your practice looks like, it doesn’t matter, it’s how it makes you feel. To me, being a yogi is to love yoga and be dedicated to some kind of practice. A yogi does their best to practice with self love and acceptance and allows this to to grow within themselves and to be shared with others. We have good days and bad days, we try to look after ourselves and be non judgement but it can’t be done all the time. Be a work in progress, celebrate each time you step on your mat, take time to meditate and be kind to others. If you want some inspiration, try my ebook that has a complete home practice and tips to get motivated. I hope I have inspired you to give yoga a go, it might be just what you need.
Namaste Sarah ox