I don’t exactly remember the first time i got familiar with the word “yoga”. My earliest memory is sitting on the living room floor as a little girl, flipping through a big book about yoga, and trying the poses i could see in the pictures.
My second memory is of my father practicing Ashtanga when i was still a child. I would watch my dad and his friend discuss and get into strange looking poses on the floor.
I guess something about it stuck in my mind, because in the middle of my strong partying phase, at 19 years old, i decided to take a three week long beginner course in Hatha yoga.
It was in the beginner course, as i listened to the teacher speak, when i remember something shifting. Not completely or permanently yet – but i found a little spark that would slowly keep growing during the years.
I grew up as an anxious young girl. I partied my way through a few years, quit multiple jobs and schools, always struggling to find my way and struggling to take the next step.
Then, as a pink-haired 20-year-old, i stepped in through the doors of my local yoga studio. I was shaking from fear and anxiety. Everyone else looked like they knew exactly what they were doing. Someone was standing on their head before class, others were stretching and chatting. I took my mat on the back row, to the corner, trying to hide away.
The teacher was an older man. His voice was soft and slowly during the class i forgot my insecurities and followed his instructions. At the end of the class he told us to imagine ourselves as a whole universe. Sometimes the vastness and the greatness and all the magnificent things are hidden behind clouds – clouds that can be beautiful, clouds that can be stormy. He told us these clouds are our thoughts. “Imagine the clouds slowly sliding away, and you will rest in the universe that is You. There you will find everything and anything you need, and most importantly, your true self.”
I left the class feeling clear, peaceful and happy. I found all my anxiety gone. I felt in control of myself, my life, my thoughts. I kept going to the classes and slowly built interest in meditation and mindfulness.
During the years i had these on-off phases. I would do my practice and feel okay. Then i would stop and anxiety got over. Then i would again get into yoga and start taking control, only to slip back off again. It wasn’t until i visited Bali for the first time in 2016 and joined a class in Ubud, that i started my constant practice.
In Ubud i found the real magic. After i left, i felt my soul craving to go back. And in December 2017 i packed up the apartment and left to Bali with an one-way ticket.
In Ubud i built myself a constant, steady practice. I started challenging myself in every single way i could to heal my social anxiety. I said yes to people who asked me for coffee, i said yes to people who asked if they could join me, i said yes to everything and everyone. I dedicated my time to meditation, asana practice, talking to people like i never did before, and slowly but steadily opening my heart.
And then, i said Yes to the calling of going deeper into my practice, and booked a yoga teacher training course in Rishikesh, India.
Afterwards, life has never been the same.
I healed myself, opened my heart, found everything i needed to find, through the practice of yoga. I am still on the journey of complete self acceptance and love, i am still on the journey of unleashing the true me. But growth has never been as quick as after i truly set my foot on the path of yoga.
And now, i am also on the path of growing as a giver – i want to grow to become someone who will inspire even one person as much as my first teachers inspired me. I want to spread the love and the light i felt in the middle of the coldest winter as a confused 20 year old.
I want to show people that they can heal themselves – that they have everything they already need, within them.