I remember it so clearly, my grandmother (we called her Nani and she lived with us in the last two years of her life) would arise at 6am every morning and complete her yoga practice – breathing exercises, graceful fluid movements and deep ‘oohhhmmmmsss’. My immaturity always seemed to get the better of me, watching my nani in the strange poses and blowing her nostrils so aggressively….i couldn’t help giggling. Wondering, why an earth she went through all these motions every morning. I never understood why she practiced yoga….
I do now.
After my Nani’s passing, in an effort to keep her memory alive and deal with my grief, I decided to enrol myself in a beginner’s yoga course.
This was 10 years ago and I have never looked back. Yoga is a fundamental part of my life. I secretly love the Indian historic roots tied to the practice yoga – it really resonates and deepens my connection to my own indian cultural heritage. It makes me proud.
My yoga practice has helped me, get through many trying times – the passing of loved ones, stressful exams, relationship break-ups and general uncertainty about jobs etc.
It sounds so cringe-worthy, but yoga is a medicine for my soul. it forces me to turn inward and silence my (usually crazy) mind. The yoga philosophy has taught me the importance of compassion, mindfulness and patience.
After trying many types – bikram, iygengar, asana…I now practice power yoga. I love the playfulness and dynamism that it offers. I also love how every time I practice yoga, it is a different experience – depending on the instructor, my mood, my day and…..my lunch (yoga after a bowl of pasta is not ideal).
Last week, I had a very, very fun yoga class. I attended it with my friend Franni. After a busy day in the office, we both were suffering from a touch of cabin fever and were in a bit of a crazy mood. The class was packed. We had no option, but to situate ourselves at the VERY front of the room, literally on top of the instructor.
The instructor was hilarious. A 30-something year old man. Tanned. Muscular. Long mousey blonde hair, tied back in a pony tail. And….tight, tight, tight bike pants.
I felt like I was 16 again. As he demonstrated rolling back and forth, due to my positioning, his ‘package’ was literally in my face. Drips of his sweat flinging across my face – SO GROSS. I had to bite my cheeks as I couldn’t stop laughing. He embraced his inner gangsta by saying ‘Get into ‘downward dawgy dawg’ and then proceeded to tell a random story about an Indian guru….whilst staring directly at me. Maybe you had to be there….
I honestly had to hold back my laughter. I pretended to drink my water…but nearly spat it out as I tried to suppress my giggles.
It was a class I will never forget.
Yoga studios have many design elements which must be leveraged properly, in order to create a a space that is conducive to yoga practice. Lighting (ie. no flurolescent lighting), studio mirrors, flooring (ie. wooden flooring to ensure sweat can be wiped up easily…), space in general must be wide and expansive enough for a class to be able to practice a range of movements, colour scheme (ie. neutral and calming) and external noise (ie. can’t be situated near a busy street or bar) and ofcourse scent plays a big part (ie. incense aids relaxation)….
Check out these beautiful yoga studios – just looking at them, makes you feel so calm…
(Image via on-display.tumblr.com)
My dream…yoga in the trees.
(Image via Pinterest)
(Image via Pinterest)
Yoga in the attic – love the rugs.
(Image via Free People)
(Image via Alfies Design)
(Image via Furniture & Design)
Magic Carpet yoga mats – amazing!
(Image via From sophieleiningermagiccarpetyogamats.com)
(Image via 101 WooniDeen)
OK, I’m off to light some incense….and drink some coconut water. Just to balance out the toxins I will be inducing tonight – hey, its a public holiday tomorrow after all!.