I had interesting chat at a yoga centre.
A student who had just come out of a class was sent to talk to me by the teacher, who was rushing to cover the next class. I don’t teach at this place but I think the student was sent my way knowing that I do teach. Anyhow…
The student, a beginner who had been practising for several months, explained that during Savasana she was overcome by, “…a very weird feeling”. This had never happened before so she was worried. I asked if she felt ill or faint.
Yogi: “No, nothing like that. I just felt really…. calm.”
Me: “So… you felt good, right?”
Me: “In Savasana?”
Yogi: “But I only come here for a workout. I don’t want any of that other ‘stuff’. People might think I’m
I went on to assure her as best I could that she was not ‘nuts’ and that there was nothing wrong.
When I first began practising I did not really know or care about the other ‘stuff’ either. I wanted to relieve back pain, and yoga did that. I also hoped might lose some weight and yoga it did that too. What I had not expected was how it would begin to affect my life in other, bigger ways.
Seeing the growing popularity of yoga in the UK is wonderful – from elite athletes incorporating it into their training, to small children doing their best Lion impersonations. A lot seems to have changed since my first class around eleven years ago. And as yoga becomes more accessible there are styles and teachers out there for anyone who wants to give yoga a try. (Hurrah!)
So, while there’s nothing wrong with going along for a workout if that’s your thing, it’s important to know that regular practice may (shock horror) start to positively effect you beyond dropping five kilos or having tighter buns. You may, for instance, start to deal better with stress, find yourself getting less easily wound up, want to hug the traffic warden who just gave you a ticket because you see their inner goodness… (okay, that last one might be a little overly optimistic.)
Or you may not.
And it’s okay. Everyone’s experience of yoga is different, but don’t be surprised if you find some of that other ‘stuff’ revealing itself to you, especially if you weren’t looking for it in the first place. Sneaky little yoga