A Journey Into Yoga by Nouf

Yoga is not a passing phase, it is an ancient art of well-being that has been practiced for centuries. I introduced you to the lovely Sue Flamm, founder of Puja Yoga, in a recent blog post. How many of you are like me, still contemplating on rolling out that yoga mat, but far too cynical, or just plain lazy to get a head start?

I first heard of Puja Yoga from my friend Nouf. She is an inspiration for lazy bums like me. What started off as a brief trial at getting fitter, ended up becoming a ‘can’t live without’ life obsession for this very fit, firm and flexible young lady. Today’s post is a Guest Post by my dear friend Nouf. Read on about her inspiring journey into the world of yoga, and learn how she has incorporated it into her everyday life.

nouf yoga
Photo credit: Pablo Bori @PBorip

I turned 38 this month. Time flies. I would have never thought a year and a half ago, when I unrolled my mat in my first yoga class with my wonderful teacher Sue Flamm of Puja Yoga, that I would be here today, sharing with everyone my yoga journey.

Yoga is changing me. It’s changing my body but also my mind.  When I first started yoga it was mainly for the physical aspect of it. I didn’t even think that my mind would also undergo a change for the better. I was not an active person physically. My two favourite sports where shopping and marathons on TV.  And my mind was like a piñata being whacked by a whole classroom of 6 year olds (although sometimes it still feels like that).

It all began because I have suffered with a bad shoulder/neck for many years. Going from one doctor to another. All they prescribed was pain relievers and muscle relaxants. I’ve seen chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, massage therapists, you name it!  All provided relief for a short period of time but after a few weeks or months, my shoulder/neck would act up again.  I needed long time results, and yoga is proving to be the best remedy so far.

Yoga is much more than the regular sequence of asanas (poses).  There is much more to it than the physical aspect (which is great by the way, don’t get me wrong, I now have a baby six pack!).  When you connect with yourself and you are aware of your innermost being, you are connected with everything around you. Your life perspective changes.  What used to be a hinderance before, now is just a speck of annoyance that can be overcome by one single breath in and a single breath  out.

Yoga not only opens your tight hips and opens your mind but, most importantly it opens your heart. When you focus on the positivity you leave very little room for negativity around you. Don’t get me wrong, we all have negative thoughts every now and then, but yoga helps you manage them. It helps you focus on the good rather than on the bad. It helps you take rein of all those hectic thoughts and feelings and directs them.  It will not erase them.  Those feelings and thoughts are as much a part of you as the positive ones, but you will look at them differently. You will accept them. And by accepting them and acknowledging they are there, in your head and in your heart, you will feel as if they aren’t a burden anymore. If yoga was a car, Love would be at the driving wheel and Hate would be in the trunk. They are both riding the same car, only they each have different places.  How did you like that metaphor? Terribly awful right? I’ll refrain from attempting metaphors again, I promise. 🙂

You know those bad days, when you feel nothing is turning out as its supposed to? Those days when you ask yourself, “Why did I even bother getting out of bed today?”. Yup, those days. I turn to yoga.  Be it in class or by myself.  Be it a 90 minute or a 10 minute practice.  Be it a flow of asanas or sitting down in meditation.  On my mat, I become one with my breath.  And when I’m done, it’s as if the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and the pressure on my chest pressing down is no longer there.  Yoga can do that to you.

So join me in this journey. Open your hearts, unroll your mats, lets learn together and lets practice to be, not to become.

Love & Peace,