My Yoga Journey — Chapter 1, Sweden
I decided to document my yoga journey. Whilst practicing this beautiful art, there are so many things happening to my body and mind and life itself so I thought it could be useful to document it. Maybe for later, for periods in life when things don’t go so smooth. To remember what I’ve been through, the memory of myself, my body and the spirit.
I can’t really remember my first yoga classes. I must have been around 13–15 years old. My mum who is very sporty asked if I wanted to come to this “Power Yoga” thing. Maybe it has changed now, but at the time in Sweden, it was like a fitness twist to yoga. Still yoga but adapted to suit fitness studios alongside with aerobics, step-up and more traditional classes.
I remember it was quite nice and how hard it was to go or even hold a downward facing dog. In my family we were very social, meaning that if one person went to yoga it didn’t last long before the rest of the crowd join. I remember Yoga made my sister want to fall asleep. My dad, hated downward facing dog and actually skipped all of them.
I remember this phrase when the teacher said that it was a relaxing posture. I thought she was insane, how could this incredibly uncomfortable posture be relaxing? Now, many years later I can see this clearer. In a fast-paced Vinyasa class, it has become so revealing to come back to downward facing dog, a posture I know and can come back to. I did Power Yoga with my mum on and off for about a year. The practice wasn’t anything special but I remember it as being a nice mother and daughter activity we used to do.
My first encounter with Ashtanga
It sounds like Ashtanga is a person. The whole philosophy around Ashtanga could almost make it into a person and a doctrine (not in a bad way). First time I went I must have been around 15. I went with my horse trainer. A beautiful, strong and unusual person. I remember especially the breathing, how all yogi in that room had such a strong breath.
I remember it was hot, humid, physically challenging and seemed “impossible”. I kind of understood that the breathing was somehow helping with the postures and the practice itself. I left amazed, a little scared and completely unaware where this would take me later in life.
Originally published at shivasdance.com on January 29, 2016.