The following are some stories of some of our members yoga journeys. Please feel free to email us yours.
I was 56 when I took up Yoga
It was a happy accident that made me begin. In response to ‘what do you want for your birthday?’, and needing nothing material, I thought of a Yoga or Pilates Gift Certificate. I did a Google search and decided on a Beginners course at Yarraville Yoga. I had no idea what Yoga really was, knew no one who did any yoga, and had never heard of Yarraville Yoga Centre! That was nearly six years ago and I’ve never looked back.
I’ve learned so much in the last six years – that accessing the body through yoga brings me closer to myself, with clarity and calm. It challenges me physically and doing so helps me develop my mental courage. The focus required precludes thoughts of anything else. Despite the physical demand, the mind is clear, curious and observant. From the first day, I’ve found the paradox of simultaneous physical exertion and mental calm to be very addictive. It’s worth confessing that I have always been uncoordinated, that I have two left feet and have never played sport of any kind.
The rigorous training and accreditation system in Iyengar Yoga (and ongoing professional development) is evident in the quality of teaching. My teachers bring their years of experience to each and every class, to deliver interesting and diverse curriculums, to manage health conditions and injuries, to pass on the Iyengar traditions, and to discuss with us Yogic principles and ideals. This is a deep subject that has a lifetime of learning. I don’t have to give up Yoga when I get to a certain age.
In Iyengar Yoga you will find the best qualified teachers who have dedicated years (not six weeks) to qualify to teach you. No matter your age, gender, shape or level of fitness, you can access Iyengar Yoga in a supported, inclusive and caring environment. And you will join a wonderful community of like-minded people.
Iyengar yoga can be for life, or it can be for a little while. There is something for everyone…
My mum was my first yoga teacher. I must have been about 4 years old; I would sit at the back of the local hall where she went to classes and watch. I was always invited to do savasana beside her at the end. At home, she would teach us the fun “animal” poses, how to balance on our feet and heads, how to breathe slowly.
As a young adult I tried lots of different styles and teachers, but eventually came to Iyengar after a serious car accident that left me with a couple of crushed vertebrae. A GP told me I was getting a head start on a “little old lady” back. I was terrified and suffering chronic pain, but determined to prove the prediction wrong. When I moved to the west about12 years ago, I became a student at YYC and found my yoga home. What draws me to Iyengar, and YYC in particular, is that yoga is taught as a discipline and a philosophy rather than just a physical exercise. You carry and apply yoga in your everyday life. It gave me a different way to look at pain, other limitations, and my way of thinking.
Now I am expecting a child of my own, and yoga has helped me to feel focused and capable during pregnancy. I like to think of my baby smiling right-way-up when I’m upside-down, and of all the calm impressions I will be able to pass on as my own mother did. For someone thinking about starting out, I would say that Iyengar yoga can be for life, or it can be for a little while. There is something for everyone, and it is such a beautiful road to discover for yourself.
I took up yoga a few years ago, a 46-year-old beset with problems from too much sitting and typing, including a sore back, tight shoulders and other chronic pain. Unsurprisingly, this was affecting my overall wellbeing. I tried a few different yoga schools and styles before finding my way to Yarraville Yoga. I took to Iyengar yoga for many reasons, not the least because the props allow me to confidently achieve different poses, rather than feeling I can’t do this or that.
I am a big fan of the Iyengar style of teaching too, a lovely blend of philosophy, anatomical understanding, kindness and precision. Slowly, my body has changed: better posture, strength and flexibility. Flowing from that, I have more awareness and compassion and don’t feel as balled-up and grumpy. All the teachers at Yarraville are great, pushing me gently so now I feel like a proper yogi. When I began, some things felt like I’d never get there. On the morning of my fiftieth birthday, I did a handstand, four years in the making. I floated for the rest of the day. No stopping now!