I found yoga about two years ago through an injury. Finding myself in a "Yoga for injuries and reduced mobility" class brought me to not only understand why I got injured to begin with, but the body awareness needed in the movements to safely do day-to-day tasks.
But after a few weeks of this practice, and going from excruciating pain to actually waking up and realizing that I was not in agony, I was hooked.
Experiencing this constant pain, and not knowing if and when it would end created a lot of fear and anxiety, which only made things worse in my body. But after a few weeks of this practice, and going from excruciating pain to actually waking up and realizing that I was not in agony, I was hooked. I understood that I did not want to be injured again, and to avoid this, my body needed some serious strength training, and awareness. Learning to also sit with the pain and be "okay" with it was also a new concept that was introduced and I began to listen to the words, put them into practice, and re-wire my brain into focusing on all things positive, rather than what was affecting me.
You have to understand that for someone like me, who always focused on the "now" and only on the things right in front of me, the concept of retraining my brain or even for just to sit there and say "I am hurting, and that's okay" was INSANE. But I tried it. It shocked me and I liked it. It was a way of finding peace in the chaos and that became more compelling than even looking for a solution to the unpleasant sensations in my body.
I became a happier person, with the new outlook towards life that no matter what got thrown my way, "it too would pass". This mentality forces you to appreciate the good things because they are fleeting, and to hold strong when things are tough because you can be assured that you will come out on the other side. Cliche or not. Yoga changed my life in more ways than one.
Getting addicted to this feeling was the best thing that happened to me. It became my focus. In the classroom it translated to awareness with each movement, proper alignment with each pose, correct muscle engagement ...and my practice changed tremendously. I felt strong. I trimmed up, and I started to love my self more, and my body - regardless of the number on the scale (heck, I didn't even own one) but man, did I feel good in my short shorts! With this came the confidence that spilled onto every thing that I tackled. Soon, and without even noticing it, one day, the pain was gone. I was moving and flowing, and doing things I never thought possible inside my own body.
The decision to begin my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) became an easy one.
Fast forward six months and I can tell you that it was the best decision I ever made. Thinking my practice was strong before was an understatement. The training is intensive. You will need to dedicate more time than you think if you really plan to take it serious and teach with intent and integrity. It will feel overwhelming, you will loose sleep, or wake up in tears before your first teaching experience. This is all normal, it too shall pass. Experience and practice, and allowing yourself the space needed for growth, forgiving yourself when you make a mistake will all be part of the process. Trust your progress.
But if you think the hard work ends when you get your certificate. Think again.
If it's your first day on the mat or if you're thinking of giving yoga a go, read this first. Another great source for newbies this article for which mats are the best ones out there so you don't slide all over the place in downward facing dog.