How Yoga Changed Me

It is probable that you will have read numerous articles about how yoga/veganism/moving to a new country etc. “changed my life”, this is not one of those stories.

Yoga didn’t change my life, it changed me.

I have been practicing yoga since I was 16 (I even taught some school friends what I knew). 4 years ago I began a new style of yoga, and it revolutionized my quality of life. I was working in an unpleasant and stressful job. I happened upon Bikram Rocket Yoga via a Groupon voucher and thought I would give it a go. I had never tried Bikram or rocket, but I have practiced yoga for years so thought it would be similar.

Out of all the Rocket Yoga teachers that I have taken classes with, there are 2 that I think are the best in London, and I was lucky enough to encounter one of them, Marcus Lord Veda when I took my first class. I quickly discovered Daniela Olds not long after.

I started attending Bikram every night after work, I’d work until 8.45pm and head over to my class. Once I entered the studio, got on my mat, sat still for the first time all day and listened for when the music started, everything from that day would slowly drift away from me. I was able to really let go of the day and focus on twisting that little bit more, or getting up into Pincha. This happened naturally almost automatically, I didn’t force it, and I just focused on the breath. And let’s be honest, envisage how cracking my body would look once I could master contortionist.

After a month or so of classes every day, 4 over the weekend, I began to notice a change in my attitude to my life, work (it’s just a job), friends (appreciating how much joy they brought me), but mostly me. I am vegetarian but I started becoming concerned about what I was putting into my body, onto my body, so I started changing my eating and beauty habits, I bought a smoothie maker (pre-Nutri bullet craze) and started making my own creations in my kitchen.

My life stayed the same, I was still in the nightmare job, still in my flat with horrible neighbors, but I was happier. Hopping, skipping and jumping over to the yoga studio from work. If I took the last class of the evening I didn’t get home til 10.40pm, and yet I never slept better. I made my body happy as I still went out, staying out late drinking amaretto’s and coke and dancing till 3 am, but I feel like I made my soul happy with daily Bikram classes.

Yoga changed me in that I wanted to take more care of myself, inside and out, which I had neglected since moving to London. I wanted to take care of body and soul, and I found that through yoga.

I have now left that job, London and the UK for sunnier climates in Turkey where I now teach yoga. I’ll never forget that first lesson, where I was a sweaty confused mess wearing ordinary leggings and not Bikram standard Lululemon (insert cry of disgust). I will also never forget how I felt once I had cooled down, showered and left the studio. I felt like for the first time since I had been in London I had taken care of myself I had given myself a big dose of love via Bikram rocket yoga.

By Holly W.