Flexing like a yogi!

December 8, 2015

BODY&MIND

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I got challenged to one month of rigorous, Ashtanga yoga training. 

Here’s what happened…

I met Erin by chance one night at a comedy gig. I remember looking at this really cool woman, dressed in a leather jacket and wide brim hat, not knowing that underneath all this was one seriously strong yogi. We got chatting, both recognising one another from social media and before long, she’d suggested I try out her classes for month and see what happens.

Originally, it was going to be three lessons for four weeks, I’d review it and we’d both have some extra knowledge about the practice and move on. But that’s far from what happened. Instead I fell in love with a practice that’s definitely going to be in my life for a long time to come…

I’ve done plenty yoga before, but all basic hatha stuff from my time in India. Ashtanga is fast, fluid and strong – based on learning a particular set sequence as opposed to random static poses.

I can’t explain how I felt after my first class – the best I can do is “broken but high”. Broken because I hadn’t done any physical activity for so long and this was 1.5hrs of sweat-dripping intensity. Broken because I couldn’t even touch my toes and felt so betrayed by my supposed “young”, 25 year old body. But high because I knew that was all about to change.

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Erin trained in Mysore, India, and came back to SA to start her own teaching only a few months ago. I must mention that I’m quite particular about yoga teachers. I mean you have to be when this person is helping you bend into awkward positions, so I was admittedly nervous that I’d committed to a month of practice with this then-stranger. But just a month later and Erin had definitely became my favourite teacher, making it even all more worthwhile. And it’s all thanks to her teaching style, healing hands, warm soul and gentle encouragement.

Ashtanga quickly became a healthy obsession and by the end of the third lesson, I was touching my toes. I look forward to every class and the sensation of feeling completely tired out by the end of it, as opposed to the dread and duty that fills me when I’ve committed to a boot camp or gym class. We all get our kick out of some form of exercise and I’d finally found mine.

These days, I spend a lot of my spare time watching Ashtanaga videos, learning about the postures and history and just generally feeling passionate about this thing that’s already set so many changes in motion for me – physically, spiritually and mentally.

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I’ll be blogging A LOT more about yoga as I go deeper into my practice, so consider this just the beginning.

Here’s what Ashtanga has given me so far:

  1. Stronger body. Stronger mind.
  2. A sense of pure, undisturbed “Me Time”
  3. Better breathing. Better health.
  4. A group of like-minded people that I can’t wait to see every week
  5. A new goal and purpose
  6. Some days I was tired. Some days I was frustrated. Some days I sucked. But I always felt deeply happy after it.

Look, yoga is yoga at the end of the day and it’s good to get it whichever way you can. However, if this yoga sounds like your vibe then join us at The Breathing Space in Glenwood on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm and on Saturday morning at 7am.

You can also check out Erin’s FB page here. She keeps it updated with videos, info and so much more to help you along your yoga journey.

 Thank you, Erin.

Images courtesy of Erin Wulfsohn / Photography by Dylan Shawn

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