What yoga taught me during my time in coding bootcamp

Bahareh Adham
4 min readSep 19, 2018
This is how I work most of the time

I recently graduated from an almost 3-month intensive coding bootcamp. Before this, I was teaching English as well as Yoga (I actually stumbled upon my love for coding while making a page for my yoga practice and teaching). The path to becoming a front-end developer was at times very fun but also very overwhelming. During the most challenging days, I came back to the lessons I’d learned in my journey as a yoga practitioner.

If you aren’t able to do something today, keep practicing and you WILL get it some day.

I admit, I began my journey into the world of yoga with purely physical goals — I want to do a handstand; I want to do crazy arm balances. When I started, I couldn’t do ANYTHING! Not a push up, not a crow pose, not even anything resembling a crow pose. If you see my above picture, you’ll see that I’m quite comfortable in side crow now. What you don’t see is the literal YEARS I spent working on it. Years spent face planting, twerking my wrists, and sliding off my elbows. Even today, my poses don’t hit their mark all the time. I still face plant and slide, but a lot less frequently. A year from now, I will hopefully be able to hold even longer, stronger, and more sturdy poses.

When I started coding, I was working only with HTML and CSS. I’d struggle with floats, get my flex properties mixed up, and had no idea about how animations worked. In the first month of bootcamp, I was SO comfortable and happy with CSS, but living in what can only be described as JavaScript hell. I didn’t understand what parameters are, calling functions was a nightmare, and I had no idea what a callback is. I didn’t want to ask any of my teachers for help because I knew I’d cry as soon as I opened my mouth. On my lowest day I went home, opened Codecademy, and told myself I will NOT leave my chair until I understood every part of the functions unit. And I did. I sat and read and experimented and played with code until.. suddenly .. CLICK. It all clicked. Just like crow pose clicked.

A few weeks after JavaScript we began learning React Js — a new language, new rules, new things to be confused about. However this time I reminded myself of JavaScript. I reminded myself of crow pose. I avoided headache and stress by reminding myself that one day it will click — and a few days later, it did.

The stressful times are just temporary. Learn from them and enjoy the challenge.

One of the most uncomfortable positions for me in yoga is just sitting on the ground. To do it properly requires SO MUCH physical engagement and awareness. It’s easy to just slouch and chill out, but then your yoga teacher yells at you and tells you to straighten up. It’s even harder for me when I’m sitting for over a minute, back straight, core tight, and trying to meditate. Meditation is HARD for me. I think about a million different things, like “what’s for dinner”, “how can I solve this piece of code”, “I’d love to go for a swim”, and my favourite, “I’m so bored of sitting here omg”. They say that if you can’t meditate for a minute, you should be meditating for 30 minutes. When something is uncomfortable or stressful, it is a reflection of what you need to focus and what you need to improve. Every time I am uncomfortable in a seated meditation, I need to remind myself that I can leave this position at any time — however I must use the time that I AM ‘suffering’ in it to grow.

The same could be said about the hardest days of bootcamp. There was one day, right in the middle of React week, where I just thought to myself, “I could just quit now, go back to teaching elementary school, and I won’t have to face another challenge again”. But then I remembered WHY I decided to leave that career and become a developer. I remembered how well I’d done in javaScript by just sticking to it, and I remembered that only a few more days in this uncomfortable React week, and I would be able to master that too. It’s easy to let go of things that are hard to do, but growth happens when we push ourselves, not when we settle.

I only need one hand to code