How I started my yoga journey

If you’ve read my first blog post, then you and I are starting to get acquainted. You will already know that I love travelling and am very much into yoga and nutrition. Hence why I divided my blog into those same categories 😊Today I want to focus on my yoga journey more specifically. I was thinking about the first time I ever tried it and I realised it has actually been quite a long journey already!

I first found out properly about yoga during my Masters degree in London, back in 2009. I was walking around Oxford Street and happened to set foot in an HMV. For my non-British readers, HMV is like a Virgin mega store or a FNAC for my French fellas πŸ˜‰. So I was walking around the shop and my eyes landed on a special offer for some DVDs called “Yogalates”, a mix of yoga and pilates, created and presented by an Australian yoga teacher called Louise Solomon (you can find more information on her method by visiting her website). I realised that I hadn’t worked out since age 15, summer was approaching so I went a little overboard and bought 6 of her DVDs to practice at home. 

My MA period was quite a stressful one as not only did I want to excel but I also was planning on returning to Paris to find my first job and the job market in France is extremely difficult for fresh graduates. So I figured those DVDs would be perfect to help me get fit again but also as an activity to relax and stress less. And this is exactly what the DVDs did for me πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ To this day, they are still at my parents’ house!

Throughout the whole summer of 2009, I practiced “Yogalates” on a daily basis and started noticing some real changes in my body. I was getting stronger, my abs were starting to show… I also felt more grounded and ready to tackle the French job market. I found a job fairly fast, much faster than I had expected. I was over the moon to have found a good job in Paris, but the downside was that I slowly started losing touch with my yoga practice. My parents’ appartement was too small for me to be able to practice after work – during the summer I would practice in the living room every morning after my parent’s had gone to work but in the evening when everyone was in the house, it got much more complicated- and yoga back then wasn’t popular in France so no studios anywhere between my job and my house. Surely enough, by end of 2009, I had completely stopped practicing, and that would last for many years.

There is a saying in French that goes “chassez le naturel, il revient au galop”, which means you can try to get rid of your true nature, but it will always come back much faster than you’d expected. In 2009, I hadn’t realised it yet, but yoga was already a part of who I was… and it eventually found its way back to me. 

Fast forward to sometime in 2014. I had been taking my Swedish Fit classes since 2011. Swedish Fit was very popular in Paris and they were starting to come over to London so naturally when I moved back to London in 2012 I joined the Swedish Fit classes there. And for the funny anecdote, the classes were pretty much attended by 100% French women. The issue was, the closest class to my work was in Piccadilly Circus station, which was the complete opposite direction to where my appartement was, and my attendance started decreasing there too. 

So in 2014, when one of my colleagues asked if I wanted to check out the gym next to our office, I jumped on the occasion. Not only was it more practical but I was finally going to have a gym buddy! We signed up to the gym shortly after and started going to two different classes, twice a week after work: body balance and yoga. Later on, I added spinning lessons too but that’s not the focus of this article. 

It was my first time taking an actual real life yoga class but I found that even after 5 years without practicing, the postures came back to me pretty fast. Or at least their names did πŸ˜…practicing them properly was another issue.

I spent 3.5 years working for my company and these were some stressful years. So getting reacquainted with yoga was like an evidence. I could finally get that grounding that I had lost for a while. To be completely honest, yoga is probably one of the biggest reasons that I managed to not quit my job or finish with a nervous breakdown for so long. 

So in 2014, the flame was reignited and the love story picked up from where it had left off. 

But despite all the yoga practice twice a week, in 2016 my stress levels reached a point where my only solution to handle it was to leave my job… and therefore my gym πŸ˜‚. 

I decided to set up my company – a subject which I will of course develop further in a future post – which meant I could start to work from home, which meant I could carry on with my yoga practice there and even perhaps make it a daily thing! This is when my practice really intensified, a creative side of me was unleashed, and my urge to start sharing it with other people surfaced. Unfortunately, most of my friends are not into yoga. Which is fine obviously, not everyone has to like that stuff, but it makes it more difficult to share the passion.

This is where instagram started playing a role. I had been following people such as the southern yogi or Jessica Olie for a little while from my personal account, but what I discovered when I created my yoga account went way beyond what I had ever imagined. A whole wide community opened its doors to me and I now have the great pleasure of sharing this journey with people from all over the world and make new friends in the process! πŸ’™

Today, I post several times a day and get to share my victories and my challenges with my whole community. I get daily inspiration from so many people and the will to always get better in my practice. 

Some people take up yoga because they want to get fit, others for the spiritual aspect. For me, it has always been both. I have never been a very stretchy person, I wasn’t born bendy or flexible. I always used to hate stretching out in PE classes. Today, I still feel uncomfortable in many poses, but they give me something to focus on, empty my mind, breathe and ground myself. And whenever my body gives me the great pleasure and surprise of achieving something I never thought I’d achieve anymore at age 30, it gives me such a sense of pride and makes me want to keep going, to always further my practice and to elevate myself both physically and spiritually. 

Of course, some days, the last thing I want to do is to get on my mat. But I try to get on it anyway, even if only for 15 mins, because the benefits are too great to pass up. Yoga has come and gone in my life in the past and it might do again in the future. When I first set up my company, I was very busy and tired. So making my yoga into a daily thing took a few months. If anything I only practiced it once a week in the first months of being an entrepreneur. But I do know now, that it has become a great part of who I am, and therefore will always come back to me faster than I had expected… πŸ¦‹

I hope you enjoyed this little story and I would LOVE to hear about the reasons why YOU started your practice! Drop me a comment to tell me what drew you towards yoga πŸ’™

Much love,

Nat

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