I've said it before and damn it, I'll say it again, yoga heals all wounds! When I first moved to Berlin from France, on an intuitive hunch, I knew I liked the city, but it wasn't until I began my yoga practice here, that I truly fell in love with the place.
I've done yoga sporadically since I was fourteen; from Hatha to Ashtanga and even some Bikram out in the Spanish mountains, in a cave no less, but the centre I go to here, Yellow Yoga, offers a wide range of variations and it's been through doing Vinyasa that I've wound up finding my peace.
I properly began practicing back in May, when I first moved and it quickly became my daily routine, making sure to attend a ninety minute class, every day, six days a week. I found that doing it regularly really made the difference. It helped ground me and clear my mind, when I had a lot of questions, doubts and uncertainties about life. In fact, I think I can count on one hand, the amount of classes I managed to get through without crying!
Sadly though, by the time the heat began to fade and my bicycle got kidnapped by strangers, my practice began to slow down to back-to-back classes, (Vinyasa followed by Yin) just a few times a week, before I eventually ceased attending class altogether in September, which ended up being such a hard month for me. I was suffering from a heartache like no other and whilst in truth, that was when I needed time on the mat more than ever, I simply couldn't face it and instead chose to hide away, suffering from a horrendous bout of insomnia and struggling to keep a dry eye.
Unfortunately, I realised recently that it was starting to become hard to think straight and keep focused on things. My positivity levels had dropped into the red, my sleep pattern was entirely off kilter and I generally just felt out-of-tune and sluggish. Combine all of that with the winter blues and I think it's safe to say, that I was heading for a fall down the rabbit hole into bleak depression!
Now, I'm not gonna say that I think there's one solution for everybody, but I myself have certainly come to recognise what I need in life and I need yoga! I need that little bit of time to myself each day, where I can sit and focus, without distraction. I need that little bit of structure and routine to my day. My body needs that stretch. My mind needs that clearing and yes, my eyes sometimes need to cry.
So, after more than three months away from the studio, I actually danced around my bedroom with over exaggerated excitement on Sunday night, when mère's partner G messaged me to say he'd gifted me a pass for the month. I went straight back to class yesterday and cried tears of joy, when my favourite teacher gasped 'YOU'RE BACK!' and then ran over and hugged me! I'd almost forgotten how much I missed my yogi community!
After ninety minutes of meditation and stretching, I came out feeling completely centred and remembering once again why I fell in love with this city! It sounds like such a simple, inane thing, but it's surprising just how much of a difference it makes. I finally feel grounded again, my positivity has returned, I feel like I've gained some perspective and as ridiculously shallow as it sounds, I have to admit that I love how the gold mat mère bought me for my birthday back in July, now goes so luxuriously with my giant black faux fur stole! I smiled gleefully carrying it in my arms on the U-Bahn there and back.
Okay winter, I am equipped to handle you now, so show me what you've got!
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