How yoga is keeping me grounded and growing my body confidence

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.
Zen Shin

I turned to yoga when I was told I wasn’t allowed to walk for 4 months (after walking every day for over 5000km this was hard to take), as I knew I needed to do something to keep fitness up, build strength, flexibility and keep me sane.

It turns out yoga is a different type of fitness, it is about discovering who you are, what you’re capable of, can you let go of your mind, just move in the moment and let your body surprise you.

For those that know me, they know that letting go of my mind is a really hard thing to do! I tend to overthink, over analyse, over care, make stories up about what people are thinking about me and well surely being in Sydney and trying to do yoga means I’ll be getting judged right… Wrong!

It turns out that yoga is the best place to be, everyone is breathing, focussing on their own body, their own movement and the beauty is everyone is different which means it simply doesn’t matter = relief!

Still… it took me until the other week to really realise this. On very hot days I’d still keep a singlet on and sweat even more, until that freeing moment I simply took it off and a bit like walking into a church… the building didn’t fall down, there wasn’t a gasp of ‘what does she think she’s doing, she can’t wear that!’ and what a relief it was, to grow my confidence in my body in more ways than one.

For years I’ve struggled with my body, I remember back to being at high school and thinking I was ‘fat’, at 5’9 and 75kg… that wasn’t fat. Now in recent years I’ve been as high as 130kg, as low as 99kg and battling to get it off and staying off, but yet I’m feeling so much more confident. Learning to appreciate our body and what it does for us, what we put it through, mentally and physically what we expect it to do and yet we don’t nourish it properly, we need to learn to be more kind.

Breakthroughs have been coming when face planting trying crow pose, to learning that it’s ok to relax back into child’s pose to just have a rest, and then to let go of what I think others are thinking of me, as it turns out it doesn’t matter - how has it taken me to 40 to get to this realisation!

The owner of Urban Soul Raw, Frank, told me that yoga saved his life and he setup the yoga studio so everyone could experience what he experienced and this last 4 months or so I truely have been experiencing that. Who knew the day I was told if I wanted my foot to heal then I’d shouldn’t walk 5+km a day, that I would start with yoga and learn to love how it challenges me each time I am on the mat.

This is what I love, to come to the mat and be in the present moment for an hour or so, as the moment you take your mind off your breath or the pose you’re learning there is a chance you’ll find yourself face flat on the floor… but happy, as it means you pushed and reset your limits.

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.
Jason Crandell