It was a sad occasion Wednesday evening. For the last year, my sister and I have been going to a certain yoga class and we have both experienced many benefits from attending the classes. However, it was the last time that our Yoga instructor was going to teach at that specific venue. I figured I would take this opportunity to summarise my experience since attending yoga classes.
I had been practising Yoga before actually attending any classes. It is said that Yoga is very therapeutic. I’ve never really looked at yoga from that point of view as I saw it as another form of a work-out. Even on YouTube there’s plenty of Yoga stretches and they are far from therapeutic.
One day my sister fancied doing Yoga at this particular gym. She asked if I wanted to try yoga or perhaps Pilates. I was in two minds as to whether I wanted to go or not. It was a new place with a bunch of people that I’ve never seen before so it was venturing into the unknown. I don’t like new places or sudden changes or new environments and I didn’t know how I would handle going there. It’s difficult for me, and it’s in these situations when my Autistic quirks come to the surface. My Autism does bring out the worst of me at times. It’s nothing to be ashamed of as it’s part of who I am.
However, I decided to give it a go in the end. What was the worst that could happen? It was a good thing that my sister was there as I had support from a relative and a familiar face. Ahem- they say that yoga is relaxing. All I had ever received was the physical benefits rather than being rewarded with the emotional or mental benefits… until I went that night.
It was a fairly closed environment. The lights were dim, the candles were lit and the Buddha statue was present. The Yoga Instructor came up to me and spoke very kindly to me. She recognised that I was new so she came over to say hi. It’s no lie or exaggeration to say that I was apprehensive since it’s a new place. I really appreciate the instructor taking the time to speak to me, and my sister for that matter. I felt more accustomed and relaxed after that. We even spoke after the first practice… I felt more encouraged to attend. =)
It was that first night that I started to reap the benefits of having a relaxed mind whilst emitting positive vibes. I can never truly calm my mind though since my mind is extremely active. When I’m relaxed I tend to visualise the things that I like, in this case, I kept visualizing myself swimming with mermaids. XD It’s weird, I know, but that’s one of the t things that relaxes me. 😉
I have attended every Wednesday since my first night.
Through all those times I noticed a difference to when I had practiced yoga before and during the lessons. Before I attended, yoga was just a workout so I did all those exercises for physical endurance. However, when I attended yoga and I did all those exact same exercises, the feeling was different. I was happier and experienced a feeling of tranquillity… I posed in super hard positions but yet I felt very relaxed. Why was this? I deduce that it was the environment and my new found attitude to Yoga.
Years ago, if I had joined a gym, I would have seen yoga as a competition. In my school I was always under pressure to do my best and one wrong answer or tiny failure was never an option. If I got one question wrong I would get upset. The same applied to P.E. P.E. was my most disliked subject, because of the competition. Competition brought out of the worst in me and I would avoid it as much as I could, because I knew how I would feel and handle the situation. I knew how I would handle things, but controlling my emotions was no easy task.
Nowadays I realise that I have nothing to prove to anyone. Yoga was not a competition; it’s all about, to me, finding your own inner-peace. It’s about being positive and looking on the positive side of life. That’s not to say that we’re naïve and we ignore all the dangers and bad stuff in the world, but it’s about accepting vices and faults and not worrying what we can’t change. If you can’t change it, why worry?
Negative people tend to focus on the things they hate, whereas positive people focus on the things they love. I always think about happy things and I have a very good life. Being happy, as I learned from yoga, is another form of relaxation. I’m always going to worry about little things due to my Autistic quirks but it’s reassuring to know that I have battle plans in place where I can conquer the negative thoughts with my positive thoughts any time. =)
When it was time to visualise tranquil scenes I thought about my own tranquil scenes. When the yoga instructor told me to think about green I would always imagine myself laying on grass and breathing the leaves that fall from the trees. Like, as if I’m on a tropical island near mountains. XD For yellow I pictured the sun, and for blue I pictured water. So, I have my own unique interpretation, as daft as it sounds. Haha.
Me and my sister always situated ourselves near the bikes… how we ended up there, I don’t know! I think we probably kept in the corner because it was the only place available to dock. We just got used to it. It was uncomfortable sometimes as we kept on hitting the bikes but there was nowhere else I would rather have been! w Haha.
As a bonus I became flexible through my hips and legs whilst increasing my balancing skills. I can physically turn door knobs and open doors with my feet! If I have a cup of tea in one hand and a basket of clothes in the other then I would raise my foot, turn the door knob, and walk through the door. I can even pick stuff off my floor without bending down. So, I may be talking about the emotional benefits but I definitely have come a long way physically as well. Haha.
I’m thankful to yoga. Before I was making a physical connection but now I have a mental and emotional connection with yoga. However I feel that the Yoga Instructor helped me more. If it wasn’t for her being impeccably kind and understanding then I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed yoga as much.
I will definitely carry on my yoga practice with this same mind set =)
Thanks for reading.