As a generally positive person throughout my life, I was taken aback earlier this year when I found myself trapped in a downward spiral of stress and anxiety. Work was becoming a burden, the kids were frustrating me to the point that I was struggling to cope as a parent, and my husband and I were on the verge of a bitter and heartbreaking divorce. For the first time ever I found that I was no longer enjoying life, although, to the outside world it would have appeared that I had everything under control.
I craved a change, a desperate attempt to keep my head above water, and I needed it to be something completely different from anything I’d tried previously. So, as fate would have it, the young owner of a Yoga studio in Dora Creek was marketing his new business in Bonnells bay shopping centre, I was intrigued. This man looked fit and healthy but more importantly, he looked genuinely happy. I wanted in. Within the week I had attended my first yoga class and loved it. The following is an extract that I wrote within the first months free trial period at Clear Water Yoga:
“The door opens, shoulders fall. Smiles of acknowledgement float across the room. The world is left outside, the turmoil and the noise”.
As I pass through, into the studio, my senses are instantly heightened. The radiating warmth from the overhead heaters kiss my shoulders and the fresh smell of nature lingers in the air, rising up from the freshly laid floor boards. The clean, cool water is flowing peacefully outside the window, floating my worries downstream.
We begin our journey in child’s pose and as our foreheads rest on the mat we leave everything behind. We slow our bodies and silence our mind. Dane has a voice that echoes masculinity and harmony as he leads us slowly through each pose, comforting and soothing with each movement.
Our bodies arch and twist, muscles contract and stretch as we stand tall with a new found strength. Balance and stability are tested. Stress exhaled. Although together physically, we travel alone here. Boundaries are pushed, achievements and failures. Our bodies a source of wonderment.
We finish in Savasana, a time of stillness and surrender. Thoughts fade away and our bodies sink into the floor with delight. All is quiet. I see a red glow under closed lids, the warmth of this internal haven feels like coming home. A renewed fire burns within, energising flames of love and appreciation for myself that I have found here.
As I close the door behind me I feel lightened somehow as if freed from my former self. My weak wings are unfolding, brand new, tucked away for far too long. Finally, as if a gift from the heavens, my mind is open and the chains that held me fall away.
Much has changed since then, less than a year ago. As a 40 year old wife and mother of four rambunctious children I have found a new purpose to life. I have found an exciting passion for creative writing, I am currently learning a new language and have become a University student for the first time ever. All things I believed that I had no time for. Which I am most grateful for though, is my renewed faith in a once troubled marriage and a rediscovered enthusiasm for my beautiful children.
The mind is an extraordinary thing and it can often become our worst enemy. When we sit still long enough to really listen to what our unconscious self has to say, and give ourselves some time and kindness. It is then that we learn to accept ourselves in a whole new light. We can finally achieve a belief of self, giving rise to the unlocking of an empowering, inner, untapped potential.
Before I arrived at ‘Clear Water Yoga’ I had an imagined view of what the studio would look like. Hippy pants, Buddhist prayer flags, statues of strange and exotic gods and incense burning in every corner. I must admit, I was sceptical to whether this was going to be the right place for me. I was surprisingly mistaken.
Dane runs a very upmarket and professional studio, sparsely decorated to appeal to a broad range of clientele. Catering to both men and women, old and young, abled bodied and a variety of special needs. He is the predominant teacher there and has a very accommodating and personable manner. There are classes available with female instructors also.
As well as my own personal experience, there are plenty of other benefits to attending a regular yoga session: Improved strength, balance and flexibility. Muscle conditioning, enhanced posture and improved mental control hence better Self Esteem. Yoga also leads to a more relaxed outlook on life which helps entice a deeper, more fulfilling sleep and helps to found a more positive and healthier lifestyle. Why wouldn’t you try it?
AUTHOR: JANET ELYARD.
Janet is a passionate mother, carer, wife and lover of life. Finding Yoga proved to be the opening to finder her true self and living with more passion.