Yoga – My Journey | Week 6 | Begin Again
by Paul Warner
A new beginning… or Begin|Again to be precise. Having completed the four-week Begin course as a yoga newbie, I had decided that I had found my thing and I wanted yoga to start to play a part in my life. I have struggled to find something that I felt at home with. I tried running but the pressure on my tired old knees was too much, cycling worries me because of the attitude of some car drivers and I am too shy and introverted to parade around a gym. The other side of my yoga practice is the wellbeing and this for me, gives yoga a huge advantage.
The class is challenging but manageable
Despite having made the decision, I mythered Josie convincing myself that I was not yet good enough to start the existing timetable and there should be a class that allows the graduates to ease into the full programme. Josie came up trumps and Begin|Again appeared on the timetable. Aimed at graduates like me that perhaps still need a bit of assisting and more experienced yogis who have taken a break and want to return, the class is challenging but manageable for anyone that has completed the Begin course.
So this was to be my first class as a Josie graduate, how would I fair, what if it was all too much, what if everyone was better that me? There it was again, that familiar voice reminding me that it is my practice and not to compare ourselves with anyone else and to take rests if we need them… I started to relax into it. The cues were much more familiar to me, the movements happened with less shuffling around on my mat, the pace was slightly faster but still with intention.
The hero was my forehead
Then it came, the most glorious of moments in all of my 5 hours of practice… in my previous blogs, you will know that my big toe was a hero but it is time for my to to step aside (geddit?), the new hero was my forehead! Now you are thinking have lost the plot but let me explain… several times during the lesson, we are asked to relax back into child’s pose. My normal reaction is to reach for a block, you see child’s pose involves your neck being supported as your head nears the ground, hence I reach for a block because my head doesn’t touch the ground BUT today was different, as my knees came apart and my head moved down, it just kept going, BOOM. my forehead touched the ground. not just lightly, it was there full felt on the ground. I couldn’t help myself, I had to announce it to the class there and then, what a feeling, bloody brilliant.
Just five weeks, five one hour lessons and there was a BIG improvement in my suppleness and mobility
The rest of the class seemed to go in a blur, I couldn’t stop thinking about my progress. Just 5 weeks, 5 one hour lessons and there was a BIG improvement in my suppleness and mobility, my knees still hurt but it was a small price to pay for the huge bloody grin on my face. I think the big lesson here for all of us is perseverance, having a teacher that believed in me helped massively with that and Josie will be embarrassed at hearing this but she is a fabulous teacher, and finally, keeping with it despite my head wanting to quit before I had even started. We all get those feelings, we all suffer from self doubt and it as always easier to decide not to make a decision, to find an excuse, to take the easy option because it will be less painful but for once, do it for you.
My yoga now forms a bigger part of my week, I have tried my first Rise class too. Some of the moves were hard, really hard but in a cool kinda way. On a couple of occasions, I had to drop into child’s pose because my stamina wouldn’t allow me to keep up. But I was able to make those choices, I was able to recognise that my body needed to pause and cool, my breath to equalise, my mind to settle. This was something I had learned over the five weeks but was now putting in to practice without even realising it.
At this rate, I may even be brave enough soon to show you a picture of me in my yoga pants… who am I and what have I done with Paul??