Yoga to overcome barriers

One of my wishes as a yoga teacher is to make you discover that most barriers you believe you have, in your body as in your mind, on the yoga mat as in real life, are only pre-conceived ideas about yourself and the world around you.

As a child I tried classic dance and felt awkward in my incapacity to open my hips or bend my body like the other girls. I gave up and unconsciously built the belief that I had an inflexible-indomitable-body, belief reinforced by the jokes running in my family and the fact that my little sister was finding classic dance so easy. That self-made belief is the main reason why I did not try yoga until age 38, thinking that yoga was a discipline reserved for super-flexible people.

Well, as a famous quote funnily formulates it: “Saying you are not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath”. Not only does yoga help develop flexibility of body and mind, but the lack of natural flexibility is a blessing in disguise. For mainly four reasons: first, the lack of flexibility makes you face limitations that seem insurmountable. It naturally pushes you to develop a high level of patience, commitment and determination within your practice. Secondly, you have no choice than use your breath, go inward, live your practice to the fullest to be able to release the numerous existing tensions and move your body further into the stretch. Third, you get to learn to be true to yourself, and accept yourself as you are. In certain classes, I was the only one who could not do certain moves and it was not always pleasant to stand out in such a way…

yoga flex

I had to learn to be kind to myself, not to hurt myself just for the sake of doing like everybody else, and find solutions to safely come into the pose. I also had to find a balance between pushing my limit a little further while staying true to myself. And now, as a certified yoga teacher, this challenge is ever so increased by the fact that people expect me to master all the poses. Fourth, you discover that through time, with perseverance and dedication, many of the once-indomitable barriers do crumble to the ground. When that happens, it gives you an indescribable feeling of freedom and makes you see an infinite horizon of possibilities. The first time I discovered that, I was bewildered: I just could not believe that my body did that

Now, as a yoga teacher, I see physical adjustments  as an opportunity to encourage my students, with kindness and support, to explore their practice beyond self-made beliefs and physical limitations. I always remember the firm yet gentle touch of my teachers, during my teacher training, while helping me to fold forward, and the blissful sensation I felt when my face finally touched my legs.

I wish to guide, accompany, and inspire my students just the same way. And through yoga, we can all discover that most limits are only limits in our minds.

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