Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Ever since the moment that my sister had become the adorable new little addition to the family, I, as a seven something year old, was supremely jealous of all the attention that was steered off, of me, and doubled on her.
So obviously, I started doing things out of the norm, to try to grab hold of any ounce of attention from my two human beings, that should be showering me with more love, essentially because I got here first.
During this time, this little version of me went from chanting Arabic songs I'd learned in school on strangely high decibels out of the blue, or doing cartwheels, getting my hand stuck in a jar, smashing my grandad's whiskey glasses, and once almost even strangling my baby sister (no joke), but hey, I was only seven years old. I tried almost everything that a child could think of - the good, bad, and ugly.
During this period of me trying new, super weird things, on almost an hourly basis (during which my parents were constantly on their toes, juggling their firstborn and newborn at the same time), I started consciously doing this one thing I'd seen my dad do on repeat. Which was, raising his legs to 90 degrees while on his back, straightening them out, and shifting the weight to his upper spine and neck, to take his feet above, and behind his head - the halasana.
As a naive, attention-seeking child, I'd do it very often, in front of my dad, to hold his attention, only to hear constant praises of what a natural yogi I am. The child version of me felt incredibly flattered to have heard this from my dad, on loop. Little did I know that that's not really all that yogis do.
As I grew older, I came to peace, with sharing the attention of our parents, and eventually stopped doing all of the weird, random things I previously did.
Cut straight to, most of my teenage life, and former years of being in a corporate 9:00am - 6:00pm job, I gave fitness, and all things attached to it as limited relevance, and priority as possible; solely because, as a deluded twenty something year old, I was thoroughly convinced that I am just casually gifted with an overachieving metabolism, and a dazzling immune system.
You know of those tales that we hear of your body changing drastically after you hit twenty-five? Yeah, those ones that we easily get through one ear, and have it slide out of the other? Listen up people, those aren't just tales out of thin air. They are told out of reality by the ones that have been there. Please for the love of you, stop dismissing them.
I started experiencing, in my late twenties, with my immunity dropping down, and my weight scaling up with no stop to it. I continually felt sluggish, sick, exhausted. Little by little simultaneously the clothes, that once fit flawlessly, started feeling tighter, and my face began looking fuller than it ever has. All in my late twenties.
It was one random day, that I decided to check my weight (which I don't do too often), and I had that wake-up call, I so severely needed; 59.9 kgs with just 100 grams short of hitting the 60kg mark. To give context, I had been 52 kgs, since forever, irrespective of what I ate, how much of it I ate, and how little I exercised. Just like that, I had gained 8 kgs, in my late twenties.
After having observed that, I did everything I possibly could - I tried with becoming a member of a gym, group Zumba classes, Circuit training, down to even jogging (which I have always hated with a passion.)
Unfortunately, I was unable to commit to anything.
I wanted to commit to something that could help me, with all my heart, I really wanted to. I just struggled to maintain the motivation to get to the end result because I found myself getting bored with any channel of activity I engaged with.
The secret here is that, you have got to enjoy the process.
If you begin a medium to only get you the body of your dreams, and not really enjoy the process of it, you are most likely to either end up binge eating, or give up on it, and just make peace with whatever is to follow next. All because of the underlying voice that pecks on your mind telling you that the process isn't fun enough, and hence isn't worth it.
One day, not too far away whilst in the midst of me attempting these uncertain channels, my boyfriend's mum told me about the yoga classes that she had begun, and that I should potentially give it a shot. I thought to myself since I have been trying and testing, what am I to lose with giving another one a go.
So, I did give it a go.
That piece of advice by her, has been the most life-changing lesson of my life; not only because yoga got me to a more zen mode, or got me consistency, or made me lose a lot of weight, or made me feel better about myself. I had finally discovered (or maybe unknowing rediscovered) a process that my body felt familiar with, and enjoyed more without counting the number of steps to get to the finish line...if that makes sense?
The mere act of understanding your body functionality, the consequences of how deep you're breathing, the simple act of staying still, and switching off, was a beautiful discovery my mind, and body made, in collaboration together. I had finally found something I looked forward to doing. Which organically converted to becoming a part of my lifestyle, and not something I did out of compulsion just to lose weight.
It felt like notes and music coming together to create a harmony. It still does, every time I practice it.
A couple of months into allocating an hour of yoga per day, bought in a calm over my behavior in general, of how I reacted to situations, of how I treated my body, just simplistic conscious & mindful actions. While being on this newfound journey, I stopped caring about how much weight I was losing but drove my focus on the inner calm I felt filled with.
Not long after that, I was driven to take my first ever solo trip, for a yoga retreat, where I was surrounded by people just like me. At different phases in their journey, but on the same journey, nonetheless.
People who didn't have any fixed processes at all, or a structure of what they consumed, (because my motto has always been, give your body what it desires.) They all had several unhealthy habits, just like myself, and the biggest common trait we all shared was - the love for yoga, and the journey of knowing ourselves better, through this medium.
This isn't one of those preachy Eat, Pray, Love centric articles. It's a simple attempt to remind you of the importance of treating your assets, which include your mind, body, and inner spirit, right. It's just a little reminder, to inhale & exhale, everytime you feel like giving up a process. It's a reminder for you to begin exploring a fitness regime that you can really commit to, surrender to, and really enjoy doing to help discover your inner balance.
The little seven year old, constantly reminds me that I can be as good as a yogi, as I allow and believe myself to be. She is specifically louder during the times I struggle or feel dejected about how slow I have been with my journey. The little seven year old gets me believing that I was born to keep discovering myself through this channel. The little seven year old me keeps the thirty year old me unceasingly motivated, and cartwheeling as often as she can.
Stories by Giggles