Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical practice that has been around since ages. Yoga is much more than burning calories and stretching and strengthening those muscles; it is a workout for your mind and body that helps soothe your soul. Melanie Gordon tells us why Yoga is the best option for you in times of need.
When I began practicing Yoga the thing that struck me the most was the stillness. You were able to make yourself feel better and improve the quality of your health but when it came to Shavasana you could lay there and be still (even though you’re lying on your mat with a bunch of strangers!) I needed stillness in my life. I needed to come back to me again. Stillness is not the absence of energy or life but living within your own harmony. This is something that had not been in my life for such a long time after the birth of my son when I was 21. The birth of my first daughter followed. Her Cancer diagnosis at 20 months and her subsequent death at aged 4 meant that I lived in an Oncology ward for what felt like forever. I had no time for stillness. I had no idea that this is what my body had been craving and my outlets for what I was feeling were cigarettes, alcohol, crying and self-harming.
In Yoga I had found something simple, effective and kind. I wasn’t been judged as I practiced, I was on the long-awaited journey to find myself. I wasn’t very flexible, but it didn’t matter. Yoga started to make me feel better about me. The more I practiced, the more I understood and consequently the more interested I became. Life still carried on and I had another daughter, miscarriages, my husband had life-threatening open-heart surgery, we separated, moved countries and all the other things in between. Throughout this I managed to return to yoga and my equilibrium was restored. I was learning more and more and decided to become a teacher after many years of practice. I have since opened my own business in the UK and now in Dubai.
There are simple benefits from regular yoga practice that can change your life in a profound way. The inner stillness of your core without obstruction, making your body stronger and in turn your mind becoming more open and sensitive. You don’t need to be a zealous convert or hugely disciplined. Just open your mind to the possibility that you might be interested in something a bit different. Learn to go with the flow and have trust in your own faith. Yoga is not a competitive sport; it is not about who can do the best headstand or who can hold the pose for the longest. The pleasure is derived from forming a deep knowledge of finding who you are, finding your parameters. When you are on your mat it should be about your space, giving yourself time to come into your body and mind. We all need this reflective time to work on our inner skills so we can perform as a better human with our own sense of self. Yoga not only tones the body but the mind and therefore creates freedom. See yourself as a mirror that becomes more polished each time your practice and you will see a gleaming surface that reflects the light.
My name is Melanie Gordon and I have run my own business Tocaso Holisics for a number of years. I have taught 4 year olds to seniors within my Sanctuary as well as children in a number of different schools in the South Coast of England. I trained originally in Asia and continued my training in the UK to level 4 standard Yoga, Pilates and Meditation teacher, I hold Diplomas in Yoga, Pilates and Meditation and am REPs Level 3 qualified. I have now moved to Dubai where I am pursuing my practice.
Melanie has started a column for Yogalife readers where they can write to her with their problems and she advices with empathy, expertise and commonsense. She is your friend in need!
“A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved “
“When the world seems a dark place and we cannot see the wood for the trees, just writing down what is upsetting you can help to give clarity and a sense of perspective. Expressing yourself to a trained counselor through times of stress and anxiety can often give great comfort and relief. Sometimes just talking to someone who is removed from the situation can help to answer your questions. My purpose is to advise with empathy and common-sense during times of change and chaos.,” says Melanie.