It dawned on me one day last week that I never wrote on my yoga journey on this space which I consider my most intimate one. Before I start, let me confess that I am a lazy person by birth. Anything which has to do with sleeping less than seven hours a night makes me grumpy. Therefore the concept of excercising, especially yoga , which requires your stomach to be empty for atleast a few hours before you start doing it and thus is better performed in the early mornings, ought to see me cringing, one might deduce. But, trust me, the experience has been superlative this far, about which I shall explain in the following post.
The journey with yoga has been a ‘love it- but not quite there’ one for so long as I could remember. My tryst with Yoga started around eight years back (Now don’t jump into a conclusion that I am already a yoga guru considering the looming number) when my mother decided to enroll us both into one, after a revelatory conversation surrounding the matter. Life defining decisions are mostly never made on the spur of a moment. They are almost always reached after much nerve wrecking discussions in my family. I love those moments when my parents settle down in our living room, my father leaning back on the sofa, my mother strolling back and forth (Somehow that has been the norm in our house, although movies and books narrate a contrary picture), with I sitting all perky and focussed somewhere in the middle, my eyes dilated and twinkling.
Once the important decision was made, we joined a class which was conducted every Sunday morning for two hours, for a period of three months or so. The Yoga sir was extremely good, his talks resembling that of a philosopher, his moves that of an experienced yogi, which instantly drew us to the classes. We thoroughly enjoyed each session and managed to learn many of the postures and asanas, baring a few which we were told we could master only with intense practice. He taught us all of them too and asked us to practise them regularly at home.
For once, I was thrilled at the prospect of waking up earlier than usual, changing into my leggings to work out and I never missed the sessions for a few days at a stretch. The good days were not to last long, however. Another part of me that I never mentioned here is about a minor condition regarding my knee joints. The condition is not dire and is not something which seeks complicated treatment modalities. It could very well be kept at bay with the right amount of hamstring exercises, although, I have been warned to not squat purposelessly, to avoid stairs if possible and to not take part in activities which demand active participation of my knee joints, which included dancing. Now, most of the asanas in yoga include stretching or flexing the knees and that was when the true problem started. I started having acute pain in my knees due to the exaggerated interest in yoga those days and the condition rebounded, which saw me taking medications for a few weeks and resorting to less active works. The days had me say a temporary farewell to my yoga sessions and an almost permanent one to my dancing hobby (I did dance for my brother’s sangeet, to not dance seemed almost impossible a task)
Now fast forward to the present and you see a person wrought with anxiety and stress, sometimes for a reason, but most other times for no reason at all. I have been fighting anxiety for over a year and only recently did I start thinking of resuming my yoga practice as the soothing effect of yoga on the nerves is a secret widely acclaimed. But, what about my knees? Wouldn’t the pain recur? The queries kept pestering me to no end. I had made up my mind regarding turning to yoga to pacify me and so also, to find a solution to the problems that came along was mandatory. I decided to scan the internet for yoga postures that wouldn’t exert additional stress to my knees and voila, I did manage find a few! I decided to perform my hamstring exercise along with the yoga postures, so that any damage thus protracted would be managed then and there itself. These days, with a little push, I find it a refreshing task to wake up a little earlier than usual to engage in my work out session. I try to induce a ten minute meditation routine too into the schedule, which is working wonders, al though at a slow and steady pace.The serenity that I am endowed with following a half hour work out is exemplary and I make sure I savour it to the fullest in the company of a hot cup of black coffee.
I should say, the new habit has definitely calmed my nerves to some extent, a tad more so, I believe, because of the sense of achievement that comes along with it. When there is will, there is bound to be a way, I am forced to conclude. With regard to my dancing routine, I don’t dance now, but I do try out sinewy movements with my body and hands, whenever I find the right tune to do so.
Do you have any such tales to narrate regarding your work out habits? Do share. And before you go, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a refreshing New Year in advance!