In case you haven’t noticed already, I think it’s fair to say that I’m quite into yoga. This is the story about what got me so interested in the yoga practice in the first place.
Movement joy and curiosity in my childhood
I have always been fond of movement. In my childhood grownups would often call me a monkey because I liked climbing trees, lighting poles, you name it.. When I was 8 i started doing gymnastics and I did that for 4 years. After that I did dancing for a couple of years, then swimming, badminton, handstands, parkour, weightlifting, pole fitness, beach volley. That might not even be all of it! For some reason I never really stuck with any form of movement for very long. Perhaps it was a result of my curiosity, which always led me to keep trying out new things?
Life back in Denmark after staying abroad 6 months
Come Nov 2015 I had just moved back to Denmark again after living in Brisbane, Australia. I was thinking to myself: what next?
Before moving I had participated in a few acro yoga classes and I had really enjoyed those because it involves lifting people up (it can really feel like such a successful experience to lift another human being – the times you actually succeed, that is), to cooperate and to balance on top of other people and being upside down (what’s not to like?)🐒😍 So I started doing acroyoga every sunday again, but I wanted to incorporate more movement into my daily life. I needed something flexible, something that I could do besides my studies on whichever days that fit me during a given week and something that I could feel the effects of in my everyday life.
Joining in on the gym trend?
I concidered joining a danish chain gym called Fitness World even though I actually had some prejudices about going to the gym at that point. I thought it would be the kind of place which fostered vanity and a place where looks meant everything and everyone was trying to build themselves a body like the ones in magazines and television. I ended up joining the gym because
1) many of my friends were members already and spoke well of it.
2) It was super practical because the gyms were spread out over all of Copenhagen.
3) They had many different classes (if lifting weights wasn’t quite my thing) such as pilates, dance, crossfit, yoga etc. which I planned to try out because liftning weights felt quite alien to me back then (and still does a little bit). I honestly have no idea how to go about it all – the reps, the sets, and I can barely guess how most of the machines are meant to be used.
Trying yoga at the gym
If you hadn’t guessed already, I ended up trying out a yoga class at the gym. I definitely did not take a liking to it that first time, which some people do, when they first try it. Rather I actually thought it was rather anti-climatic. I had no idea why so many people were fascinated with yoga at that point. Back then I actually thought it was a little too repetitive and slow-paced for me. But reflecting back on it now, at that point I probably wasn’t ready to slow down for long enough to focus on my breath and experience the side of yoga where you get more in touch with your body, achieve more body awareness, mental wellbeing and contentment. At that point I was just looking for a fast-paced work out. Something that would make me sweat and teach me cool new ways to move my body. In spite of my very anti-climatic first meeting with yoga I continued taking classes for the sake of the exercise and ended up eventually going to a vinyasa yoga class that blew my mind.
Surprise and overwhelm
We were guided through poses I had never even seen before. Sideplanks to wild thing, tuck jumps to handstand, inversions and all of it in a sequence that was anything but repetitive and slow-paced. I was doing my very best to keep up with the pace as my body went through pose after pose that challenged my balance, strength, and flexibility. I lost all sense of time because I was so focused and my mind was so present while having so much fun at the same time. What really appealed to me was the creative movement patterns and how everything felt like a game of experimenting and exploring your own limits. I went out of that class absolutely exhausted in the best possible way, feeling high and super intrigued about yoga. Apparently there was more to yoga than sun salutations? This was something I knew I wanted to become good at and I promised myself that I would make time to go to this class every week!
Do you practice yoga? If so, how was your first experience with it?
I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat 🙂