I asked Josh what a regular yoga practice has done for him... check out his inspiring response.
The first time I tried yoga I couldn’t get to the studio fast enough. It was mid October, my second year of university had begun, and my anxiety level was higher than ever before. Sitting on the mat in child’s pose at the start of the class I was initially apprehensive. I had heard that yoga was a good workout and for me the distraction was welcome.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that session would be the beginning of a much longer journey of self-actualisation.
I’ve developed a strong attachment to my yoga mat, as strange as that may sound. On it I’ve fallen countless times, laughed until I’ve gasped for air, sweat till I’ve slipped flat on my face, and have been forced to battle my anxiety head on. Above all, a regular yoga practice allows me to stay present. I can enjoy the feeling of a deep stretch and lose myself in the flow of a class and forget about the past and future. In that hour I am completely free.
For me yoga has been about more than just a series of physical asanas. My mother, a yoga teacher herself, once repeated to me the words of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: ‘practice and all is coming’. I’ve come to adopt this as my mantra. Whenever I feel frustrated or anxious I think about my yoga practice and of how patience has allowed me to master poses that I used to think impossible (crow pose!)
Applying the lessons I’ve learned on my mat to the rest of my life came naturally and it has allowed me re-centre myself in a chaotic world. Just as life ebbs and flows so too does my yoga practice. Learning to accept my limitations has been liberating. Instead of worrying about the things that are outside of my control I am able to focus on the present and those situations which I can immediately influence. This has taught me compassion and patience, those qualities which can often seem elusive in the busy hum of modern life.
The regular practice of asanas has impacted me so positively that I’m now more aware of my overall wellbeing. I’m in tune with my body like I’ve never been before. I’m conscious of how sleep and diet impact upon my physical and mental state and for me this has been utterly amazing. Yoga is, after all, a lifestyle. I have no idea where it’ll take me next, but I can’t wait to find out.
- Joshua Teasdale