A friend recently asked me about my journey and how I first became interested in yoga - it made me think that it would be good to share my story with you, so here goes... thanks for reading! xox
I first started practicing yoga asanas (poses) and meditation about six years ago (although my practice was quite irregular for the first couple of years!) I love how doing the asanas and pranayama (breath techniques) make me feel, both physically and mentally.
In 2013 I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis - I remember my rheumatologist telling me to imagine having superglue down the length of my spine and the best thing I can do to keep it from ‘locking tight’ is to keep the spine as flexible as possible, that was when I started to become more serious about it all.
I commenced my 350 hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training course in February 2016 with Veda Yoga Teacher Training as I was interested in learning more about this beautiful practice of yoga. I figured that if it could help me stay mobile as I grow older, then it was absolutely necessary for me to do for my own preservation and so then, my true journey of yoga began...
However, two months into the course I broke my ankle in two places! I was in a cast and wheelchair for six weeks, then a moonboot and crutches for a further nine weeks, so it certainly wasn't the ideal start to my training! I used the time that I was immobile to delve deeper into the theory side of the course work, as I obviously couldn’t do any of the practical work, apart from Legs up the Wall pose and Supported Shoulderstand (I still love those poses to this day!) When I was using the moonboot I was able to put more weight on the ankle gradually and started to pick up my practical work again to try to catch up on my yoga studies.
Then 2016 decided to throw an even bigger curve ball at my partner, Steve and I…
In June, Steve hadn’t been feeling well and had numerous trips to the doctors to check blood pressure etc. and was thinking that he perhaps had a virus. On 19 June he asked me to take him to the hospital as he was really struggling with persistent indigestion and fatigue. When the doctors checked him out they discovered that he’d had a heart attack (nine days prior!) and unfortunately a third of his heart had already perished through lack of oxygen.
So, please know that the symptoms of a heart attack don’t always present themselves as they do in the movies! If something doesn’t feel right, go to the hospital and have them check you over,better safe than sorry.
Steve had a double bypass and heart reconstruction on 29 June all at the young age of 42! Thankfully the surgery was successful and 19 days after going into hospital I was allowed to bring him home. During that time, which consisted of work, hospital visits, worry, sleep and repeat! I fell further and further behind with my yoga work and seriously thought about quitting the course, or at least deferring - but Steve kept me going as he could see how much I enjoyed it.
Once Steve was home I was able to plough into my yoga studies once again, where slowly but surely I managed to catch up with the work. I qualified as a Registered Level 1 Yoga Teacher on 28 February this year and could not be happier! I feel very proud that I didn’t give up and my love for yoga increases on a daily basis.
I launched Yoga Owl once I qualified, knowing that I wanted to pass on the knowledge that I’d learnt (and am still learning) to others. Yoga is accessible to everybody, whether it’s by practicing asanas (as a form of exercise) or on a deeper level (there are actually Eight Limbs of Yoga, with asanas being just one of them).
Fast forward to September 2017 where I am now teaching some corporate Yoga Asana classes and Relaxation and Meditation. I always feel so joyful after a class when I see the difference in people’s demeanour, they seem to have less worries and a lightness about their whole being.
I know that for me, Yoga is now an integral part of my life, I would love to reach a grand old age, complete with a great quality of life and although we can’t be too sure what ‘life’ will throw our way, I know for sure that Yoga helps me every day and my body, mind and soul certainly thanks me for it!
Namaste & Much Love
AKA Yoga Owl
It's hard to believe that we're in September already isn't it?! The years seem to fly past quicker with each passing year, it certainly seems to be the case for me anyway! 14 weeks until Christmas Day and the mince pies, crackers and plum puddings are in the shops already, what a crazy world we live in...
So what's been happening for this Yoga Owl recently?
Well, life has been very busy, with my full time job and also teaching two corporate Yoga Asana and Relaxation & Meditation programs. But oh, how I'm loving it!!! I absolutely LOVE seeing the students so relaxed and calm at the end of the classes and I always have a huge grin on my face for an hour or so after teaching a class, perfect win-win!
I'm going on a yoga & kirtan retreat at the end of this month which I know will be so beautiful and relaxing, I'll tell you all about it next time.
Until then, I hope that you're finding some time to nurture your body,mind and soul?
If you're not, why don't you schedule it into your diary? Even if it's just 5 minutes to start with... check out this awesome list of 40 ways to relax in 5 minutes or less and look after yourselves.
Cheryl AKA Yoga Owl
As time goes on I will write more in this section, but for now...