There are a lot of things I love about practicing & teaching yoga. The way it makes me feel mentally & physically, the people I meet, the places my teaching has taken me. However one of the things that stand out for me is that with regular practice, poses that initially felt so impossible become manageable & sometimes even easy.
Spaces open up within the body & all of a sudden you can do things you never thought you could. All my life I’ve been really easily distracted, not particularly focussed or coordinated. Certainly not particularly athletic or brave about trying something new or outside my comfort zone.
But in those early months of regular yoga practice 25 plus years ago, things slowly began to change. My posture improved; I became more conscious of how I held my body both on & off the mat. My balance, flexibility, strength & coordination improved. I gradually became a little more focussed & self-confident. Confident enough even to be persuaded by one of my yoga teachers to train teach!
When I first attempted the prep for my very first hand stand (at the age of 35), I felt completely terrified. My arms didn't feel remotely strong enough to bare my weight. I had visions of breaking my neck, or suffering some other kind of catastrophic injury, in the likely event that I should fall.
However I kept working at it & while even today I still can’t stay on my hands for very long, I’m pretty proud of ever getting up at all! I turn 57 this year & one of the best things as I age, is that through yoga my body can do things now that it definitely couldn’t do when I was 17!
Yoga is a daily reminder that it’s never too late to start something new. You just have to believe in yourself & work at it, whatever it is you set your mind to do.
In my teaching I regularly stress how important it is not to compare ourselves to others. It’s easy to get frustrated & wonder why we can’t do something or enjoy the success that someone else seems to have both in their yoga practice & in life. We've all been there.
The reality is that anything is possible with a bit of hard work & self-forgiveness. So go on! Make some space in your life & try something new.
For details of my West London yoga classes or our upcoming 2019 Winter Yoga Retreat in North Kerala. South India visit www.elisawilliamsyoga.com