I used to think Yoga was a joke until this one moment

“Take a deep six count breath in… and exhale it out. Pranayama deep breathing…”  

“Uh, pranayama what?”  I was in my very first yoga class and couldn’t help but think: This is ridiculous. Did this yoga instructor just randomly make up a fancy-sounding word to describe the simple concept of breathing? *eye roll* Not only was I sweating profusely, suddenly swimming in a puddle of perspiration on my mat, but I also felt like I was stuck in an eleventh-grade foreign language class. Still trying to wrap my head around pranayama-this and trikonasana-that, I came to the defeated conclusion that this was not my jam. I just had to make it through this one class without drowning in my own bodily fluids and pretend to understand the gibberish meant to guide the wacky practice.  

I didn’t get into yoga because I was “broken” or going through a breakup or even seeking spiritual growth. I simply wanted a supplement to my already-involved training regimen. I perceived yoga to be physically challenging yet a more gentle workout for rest days… and that’s about it. 

I spent the first two years focusing on my physical practice. I didn’t have any interest in “feeling” or being compassionate, loving, and kind to myself. My main objective was to get a recovery workout in on the days I didn’t have functional strength training, and to keep my body supple. Every time an instructor would preach about vulnerability and the idea that “you can only love others as much as you love yourself,” I would cringe. Rather than embrace all of the tools that would contribute to my growth and emotional freedom, I resisted them and became increasingly frustrated with what I considered to be absolute bulls#*t. To be honest, I just couldn’t comprehend why every single instructor felt the need to create an emotional upheaval when I was just there to get in a good workout.

Despite my journey not following the common trend of turning to yoga post breakup, two years into my practice, I found myself going through the worst breakup of my life: my divorce.

All of a sudden, the emotional wall I built came crumbling down. I felt like everything the instructor was saying resonated with what I was experiencing in my personal life. The emotions came on full force, and my mat was soaked with a mixture of sweat and tears after every practice. I felt a loss of control and power I didn’t experience in my other workouts, as I was forced to deal with the hurt, sadness, anger, and regret. My formerly-jaded self might have scoffed, but this new, vulnerable version of me felt a shift. 

The exact moment it happened was in trikonasana during a grueling practice. I heard the instructor say, “Your access to power is through your breath. Follow it, feel it, hear it, be with it.”

As much as I look forward to the hip-opening poses, those are also the ones that are most sensational and regarded as the area in our body where we hold on to our emotions. With the discomfort intensifying, I decided to take the advice that changed everything for me: I started to breathe. I counted my breath. I visualized my breath. I listened to my breath. I just breathed.

It wasn’t that my breath magically made everything better—not even close—but what it did do was make the discomfort manageable.

It wasn’t that my breath magically made everything better—not even close—but what it did do was make the discomfort manageable. It allowed me to stay with the sensations, recognizing that I was in full control of how I chose to respond. In that moment, my breath—this simple, basic thing that we all have access to—became my most useful and powerful tool. Breathing reminded me that all emotions, good and bad, are temporary.

Learning to breathe through discomfort, be it physical or emotional, allowed me to create space for healing and vulnerability. It made me responsive rather than reactive, and it gave me the ability to recognize that I always have a choice. As the saying goes, the only way out is through. Through yoga, I realized I can either choose to avoid uncomfortable sensation and suffer, or I can breathe my way through it, trusting that it will pass in due time.

When I think back to that very first yoga class, I was not only completely confused by pranayama breathing, but I was also annoyed by the loud, obnoxious sound. It’s kind of funny now that what I once resisted is now my sacred tool of survival. It grounds me, soothes me, nurtures me, and allows me to create space to feel and to let go. It’s helped me find myself and is the most powerful component of my yoga practice. It reminds me not to be so quick to judge new experiences, new people, even myself. It reminds me that there is no challenge or difficulty that you cannot overcome—one breath at a time.  

May Newsletter

All Mums practice for free this Mothers Day! Or if you are a Mum. bring your daughter =)

Mothers Day is just around the corner and while a big hug and tender kiss are usually enough for her, it’s always a great idea to spoil her with something special on this date to show much appreciation for all she’s done for us. Sure chocolates and flowers are nice, but how about trying something different this year? Something more useful that lasts longer and she can use frequently. Something that makes her feel like the gorgeous woman she is; or something that enhances her lifestyle but at the same time, won’t break the bank.

If she happens to be a dedicated yogi, then she’ll definitely like one of these ideas specially tailored for yoga mums. Just remember to compliment them with a big hug and tender kiss too!

  • Yoga Mats – An easy and amazing gift for any Mum that practices Yoga; it’s always a yoga accessory she may need or one that is getting old and needs to be replaced. Our mats are top notch and we also have mat bags to carry them to and from class in!
  • Yoga Book – A book about yoga or spirituality is something that could have a long lasting effect on your Mum; it can improve her practice, enhance her yoga journey, and create inspiration in her day to day living. There are many options to choose from.
  • Yoga Clothes – Mum deserves to look sharp and feel comfortable at the studio. There is no such thing as ‘too many’ yoga pants, so its always a safe choice. She could also use a sweater for these colder days; a yoga top to feel good in her favourite asana; or shorts to help her move freely.
  • A yoga pass – we have everything from introductory passes to monthly passes and sessions packs! Introduce Mum to the wonderful practice of yoga, pilates and meditation, or if she’s already a regular, save her on her next payment. She’ll love it! Who doesn’t love see Mum happy, relaxed and glowing after her yoga class?
  • A private yoga class – This is a great opportunity for Mum to go deeper into her practice with one-on-one attention and hands on correction.
  • Practice class with her – She’ll most probably like at least one of the previous ideas; any present is a good way to show that you thought of her! However, spending quality time with Mum is something she will love and make her smile more than any object or subscription you can find. Hop on the mat and enjoy yoga class by her side – remember that all Mum’s (or daughters, if you are already a mum) practice for free this Mothers Day!

In Other News

  • We are looking for a marketing angel to help us promote the studio in exchange for free yoga. We want to spread about our amazing studio and are looking for help in doing so! Contact Sherry on 0422 684 789 if you’re interested
  • Speaking of promotion… please check in when you come to class. Post and check-in when you come to class! Before Yogananda died in 1952 he whispered to his student- “something called social media is coming… and if you don’t post and check in, it’s the same as not doing savasana at the end of class” but worse 😉 Help us promote our family business, we would really appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts xx
  • Ongoing Special – Bring a friend for free if you are a member (direct debit, 50 classes, 6 months or annual pass)! They can come to any class on our schedule, it just has to be their first class ever at our studios.
  • By popular demand. we are adding a silent class the last Sunday of each month at Nundah. This class will be at 7am, and will commence the last Sunday of May. Look forward to seeing you there!

 

Topic of the month: You’re body’s “Powerhouse”: What is it?

Inferno Hot Pilates is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with low impact, based on Pilates principles. In class we spend a lot of time strengthening not only the abdominal muscles, but the lower back muscles, the glutes, the muscles around your hips, and the pelvic floor. These muscles work together to create a supportive corset for the trunk of your body. As a group, we refer to these muscles as your “Powerhouse”.

The term “Powerhouse” was created by Joseph Pilates to describe the place in the body from where all movement and energy stems. All movement should begin from the center and move outward to the limbs. It is the Powerhouse that gives us energy, strength, stability and control.

When we strengthen the muscles of the Powerhouse, our posture becomes supported and our shoulders can relax. Our chest opens, allowing it to expand and contract easily with the breath. The neck and head are aligned and can move more freely, and it relieves stress in the hips, legs and feet. So in your next Hot Pilates class, when the instructor tells you to squeeze your bum and tighten up your glutes, pelvic floor, and stomach, tighten them up and find your center!

Contact Bikram Yoga North Brisbane

Questions? Get in touch with us by filling out the form below. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial