My story of change: A shift from caterpillar to butterfly mode!

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Hello! My name is Bahar. I started yoga about 2.5 years ago; Mainly doing Yin yoga for the first year. The first six months of starting yoga for me was like this:

[In the class hot and sweaty doing a strange yoga pose for 5 mins…]

Yoga teacher: “Discipline! Discipline! Discipline!… You have to make these shapes so many times until you can let go of the shape, Once or twice per week is not enough…you have to practice it on your own at home …”

My mind: “[laughter] Practice at home!!!?? What? Who does yoga twice a week? Who does he think I am… I am a busy person with a busy life! [Oh my hip is so painful] I don’t have time for this sh..t! I have an important 9-6 job… then during the week, I have private tennis class on Monday mornings, twice per week PT at lunchtime, Spanish Language class on Tuesday evenings and Learning to play harp on Wednesdays, Thursday nights painting class

Friday and Saturday night going out with friends, Sunday afternoons painting day with a friend fortnightly. No! impossible… is he crazy or what?!!!”

He says:”….make space in your life …breathe! … relax into the shape…and it’ll go … don’t think! breathe!”

My mind:” …Space? What space? Can’t you see there’s no space/time in my life? … [Oh! my knees are in so much pain!] how can I breathe into it and relax? …what time is it?… when does it finish?…”

This was part of my experience and mind dialogues while doing yoga for the first few months.

In April 2018 I went to Kerala yoga retreat with Hot Yoga Wimbledon. It was there that I’ve done Vinyasa and Bikram for the first time. Half an hour meditation in the morning followed by doing yoga twice per day for 10 days had an amazing impact on my body and mind. It was there that I truly sensed the essence of Yoga for the first time:

Yoga teacher: “This shape is a hip-opener… we store so much pain and emotions in our hips ..”

My mind: “Oh! It’s so painful but I want to work on it I want to release those emotions and be light and free…”

The other important and sweat take away from Kerala retreat was meeting a beautiful group of like-minded, kind and amazing people whom we still keep in touch with each other and some of them are now close friends of mine. This is the gift of the supportive community that is very unique to HYW which I’m very grateful for.

Coming back from Kerala I was determined to make a shift in my life. Discipline! Discipline! Discipline! [No he’s not crazy! He is actually right]. 

Since Kerala retreat,  I’ve attended yoga classes at least 4 times per week; I participated in the 30-day yoga challenge in Jan 1209; My body is more flexible now and I have lost weight (8 kilos) and down 2 sizes! 

Yoga makes you shift not only on the physical level but also on the emotional and mental level. I am meditating daily. And trying to make more space in my life by trimming my schedule a bit. I’m not doing so many things anymore; I have only picked a few activities that I enjoy the most and focus on them. I decided to focus on my art. Last year one day:

He said: “…Let’s face the fear…why don’t you hang some of your paintings here on the walls in the studio…” 

My mind: “OMG! No, impossible! say NO!… But the softened part of me who has a voice now said why not! It’s just amazing…allow it and see what happens. Say YES!”

[You probably noticed my paintings along with lovely Dawn’s poems on the studio walls. Great news! It’s going to be replaced with a new collection very soon! ]

This was how my story as a full-time artist began to shape. The rest happened smoothly and looking back quickly:

Since last summer I changed the job that I wasn’t happy with and moved to a high profile job in a very well-known company. [but My inner voice:”… life is so precious… what am I doing here? I know I have to follow my bliss in life”]. So! finally, I gained the courage to plunge in the sweetness of unknown! 

I left my corporate job last month and off to pursue my dream to become a full-time artist. I’m taking a year off of my career to dedicate time to art and join a few art exhibitions. [My mind: “tell them to wish you luck!”]

I’m very grateful for the love, friendship, support and direction that I’m constantly receiving through Yoga and this amazing place and community. 

Hot Yoga Wimbledon thank you so much for being part of my journey! 

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