It was a beautiful, sunny day at one of Bicol’s white sand beaches. The sun burned my skin while the sea glistened, inviting me to take a dip. But instead of jumping into the water, I stood like a warrior, my arms outstretched and my feet digging into the sand. I tried to stay still, refusing to wipe the sweat that was dripping from my forehead.
That’s me at the right side with the polka-dotted shorts. My friend Char at the center is #BackGoals!
The year was 2011 and my friend Martin was a newly certified yoga teacher. He decided to use our prayer group as guinea pigs to practice teaching. Once a week, we would gather at my house and do our sessions in the lanai. And when we went on a trip to Bicol, he decided it would be fun to do yoga at the beach!
It’s been seven years since I started practicing yoga. Though I’ve been doing it on and off over the years, it never ceases to amaze me how this practice helps me become strong and centered.
As I mentioned in previous blog posts, 2017 was a tumultuous year composed of huge changes and a major surgery that left me feeling weak and lethargic. I felt like I was back in square one, especially when it came to my career and my health.
I wanted 2018 to be a Brave New Year, and to achieve that, I committed to starting a regular yoga practice by joining Adriene’s free 30-Day Yoga Challenge on YouTube. Though it took me a little over 30 days to complete the challenge, doing it helped me develop a regular workout routine and gave me the confidence boost I needed. After 30 days of showing up on the mat, I realized that little by little I had gotten stronger and I could literally stretch myself farther than I ever thought possible.
Doing the triangle pose has always been a struggle for me. I could never reach the ground without bending my knee. But after 30 days, I was able to touch the floor on this pose for the first time ever!
I also joined Urban Ashram’s Beginners Yoga Course, which was a wonderful way to learn more about yoga and ignite my passion for the practice. But more than learning about the basic poses and the physical benefits of yoga, the course reminded me that there is strength within—that I have the power to transform myself, one step at a time. (I wrote about my learnings from the two-day workshop at the Urban Yogi blog so do check it out!) For those who want to jumpstart or refresh their practice, I highly recommend this workshop. They have one coming up this weekend (Feb 24-25) and a few more in March. Check out the schedules at Urban Ashram’s website.
Though I still have a long way to go when it comes to my health and career goals, I know that with patience and hard work, it can be done. Just as we mindfully go through each step in a sun salutation, the road to progress cannot be rushed. We just have to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy every stage of the journey.