August 9, 2018
Last year around October I started doing yoga in my daily routine. I had been interested in doing yoga since I went to Australia about 4 years ago but I never managed to do it daily, I always started with energy but after a few days I would get tired and quit. I was too busy with work and too tired to do yoga, I would pay memberships in yoga classes to force myself to go or waste money but at the end I just wasted the money because I would never attend class.
I kept giving myself excuses, “I’m too busy at work”, “I haven’t found a good teacher”, “I’m not flexible enough” anything to excuse give myself a logical reason why I wasn’t doing yoga and yet I would follow all these people on Instagram doing really cool yoga poses and wondering why I couldn’t be like them. And that’s how I spent about 4 years of my life, just wishing I could do yoga but never really doing anything about it.
Then last year at 29 years old and having only half a year more of being in my 20s I promised myself that 30s was going to be different and I was going to take better care of my body and one of the changes I decided to do was to finally incorporate yoga on my daily routine. That’s how I started, doing less than 15 minutes of yoga per day.
Because I never actually attended classes for laziness and lack of time I decided that it would be easier for me to do it at home by watching YouTube videos that way I could do yoga anytime.
To keep myself motivated I decided that I would set myself one goal, just one cool pose to begin with and if I achieved it then it would motivate me to keep going everyday and the pose that I chose to be my milestone was Hanumanasana or Monkey Pose, most commonly known as the splits.
The splits were something that I was never able to do, not even as a kid when my gym teacher made us practice our flexibility by doing the splits I was the only one in my class who could not do them no matter how hard I tried, at the time I just told myself it was because I was not a gymnast so it was obvious that I wasn’t able to do the splits. I was a kid supposedly in the most flexible peak of my body and yet I could NOT even do the splits how could I start now that I was almost 30!?
But the yoga teacher in the YouTube video I chose said that by doing the stretches she was teaching anybody could achieve the splits so I did it every day, mostly out of curiosity to see if it was true. The video was a total of 13 minutes and 53 seconds, not too long and certainly doable even on busy days so I kept going with this routine every single day. Even when I was too tired from work, or too cold to move and even when my spirits were down and I thought it was impossible for me I forced myself to do this 13 minutes and 53 seconds of yoga for the splits.
I was so desperate to be able to do the splits that I started to force my body to do the stretches even farther than it was prepared to, not taking things slow and paying attention on how to do each stretch properly I hurt my hip joint, and for a while I couldn’t even walk properly because it hurt. I blamed it on was age and again began to wonder if there was even any point in trying to be flexible so late in life. But I had kept this routine for too long now to just give up so I started listening to my body and its limits and did every stretch more carefully and focused on the right techniques and I kept going with yoga. Many months passes and I saw no results, except for muscle pain and hip pain wondering if I had chosen an impossible pose. However, one day out of the blue after about 4 months of daily yoga for the splits, too suddenly for me to believe I finally touched the floor! I was doing the splits! I had achieved my impossible milestone!
At the beginning it was still so painful that I could only hold the splits for a few micro seconds but it was something amazing for me and I didn’t want to lose this flexibility I had worked so hard on achieving so I kept practicing with that same video for many months still. After about 6 months of daily practice I could hold the pose comfortably for 10 seconds or more and I started to challenge myself to other poses as well.
Now its almost a year since I started doing yoga seriously and I still have a long way to go but every day I challenge myself to do something new, practice new poses and keep up my yoga routine. Doing yoga every day was such a hassle at first but now it’s come to the point that I enjoy this part of my day so much that it doesn’t feel like I’m making time for it but rather looking forward to my yoga time. If I’m super busy maybe I will only be able to do 20 minutes but I try to do at least 40 minutes to an hour per day, I take a day off if I have to but I don’t like days off yoga.
Since I first started trying the splits I am now trying the more advanced variation of it and this is how far I have come.
Working as an acupuncturist and massage therapist I get really stiff shoulders myself but I unfortunately I cannot massage my own shoulders but I have found that ever since I started yoga my stiff shoulders and neck have improved quite a lot. Now every time I have any shoulder or neck pain I do yoga focusing on those areas and I feel much better afterwards.
As an acupuncturist yoga is something I recommend to everyone, men and women no matter what age or flexibility level, yoga is for everyone and it helps to keep the body healthy.