I guess the best place to start with this blog, as with anything, is at the very beginning, not the very beginning of everything naturally (although I am sure I will share some thoughts on that at some point also!!) but the beginning of my personal yogic and ayurvedic journey.
The point of the blog is to share my journey, the knowlege I have gained from others, the knowledge I have gained from my own body and practice, the highs and lows, successes and pitfalls both as a record for myself and perhaps some inspiration for others. The intention is not just to cover my story of course but to share knowledge, self care practices, tips, suggestions, ayurvedic receipes etc. The hope is that it may become a platform not just for me to share my experiences but for us to exchange ideas and share knowledge.
I came late to yoga, having my first real class in 2010 at the age of 34 when I lived in Hong Kong. I came to Hong Kong after a particularly difficult break up of a 10 year relationship. I lived a very hectic life there, long work hours, lots of late nights partying and drinking heavily, and lots of business and personal travel. It was wonderful and exciting but also unhealthy and unsustainable. Since I was very young I have been a bit of an insomniac, finding it hard to go to sleep and not sleeping for long, but with the full on lifestyle I led in Hong Kong this lack of sleep became ridiculous. I often averaged just 2-3 hours a night. I needed something to balance the wild, extroverted, crazy jetlagged lifestyle.
In that sort of way where you just know you are being guided by a higher power, that everything happens for a reason, that something is meant to be, I accidentally stumbled upon the most wonderful little boutique yoga studio just 5 mins walk from my apartment. It was small and intimate, the classes never more than 10 people and in the mornings often just 3 of us and sometimes I had a private lesson all to myself. Bliss! It offered all sorts of yoga styles, astanga, hatha, yin, kundalini all led by beautiful yogis and yoginis who clearly loved, lived and breathed their practice. I am truly blessed to have been introduced to yoga in such a space.
I was instantly hooked, getting up before work to do yoga in a little studio on the 15th floor of a Hong Kong high rise just on the edge of the busy Central District, re-introduced me to an inner calm that I was always able to tune into growing up in Ireland but with which I had lost touch in Hong Kong and for which I yearned. Standing in Tadasana (mountain pose) at the top of my mat, hands in prayer position and connecting to my breath in that first class in that beautiful space I felt a reverence, and spiritual connection that I had not felt for the longest time. Calm, alert, grateful. It was a very powerful experience and I knew it was going to become more and more important to me in my life. This small Oasis of calm and tranquility above the horns and traffic and loud cantonese brought me back to a self I was much more connected with in my younger years and helped me discover an even greater awareness of self which has indeed changed my life.
In writing this and remembering that first yoga class and the feeling of lightness in my body mind and soul and the joy in my heart that I felt afterwards and how it led me on this most incredible journey of self discovery and understanding I am feeling immensely emotional and grateful.
I will hold on to that feeling for today, one of gratitude for the wisdom of the universe to put me exactly where I needed to be exactly when I needed to be there. Gratitude for the wonderful practice of yoga that has opened me up to so much more. Gratitude for the teachers I had in that beautiful space in Hong Kong and gratitude for the opporuntiy to share my journey and the lessons I have learned with others.
I invite you all to take five minutes with me to close your eyes, breathe in deeply, exhale slowly and completely and think of one thing that you are grateful for today. Let the warmth of that thought fill your heart and soul and spread to a smile on your face. Carry that feeling with you throughout the day. Should you be knocked off balance by some stress in work or whatever, allow yourself 10 seconds to close your eyes again breathe deeply, exhale slowly and completely and reconnect with the thought that put a smile on your face and tune in to that little oasis of calm within you.
I will leave you with that for today.
Namaste beautiful souls.