Sam

Background: 

 I’m Sam, A 28 year old Wellingtonian with a continuous (at times contagious) case of wanderlust and a slightly inquisitive nature.

First yoga practice:

My first ever time practicing yoga was at a place called Sacred Cow Yoga in Brisbane, I attended 4 or maybe 5 classes there. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or hard yoga can actually be, unfortunately my mind set at the time held me back, after the few sessions I wasn’t feeling any ‘benefits’ so I  decided Yoga wasn’t for me.

When I arrived back in New Zealand I decided to try Yoga out again, through various groupon deals etc I tried a few places but I still wasn’t feeling the yoga, until, by sheer luck and perhaps a bit of fate I landed myself a yoga teacher as a friend, she was and still is a walking advertisement of the ‘benefits’ of Yoga. With a sweet voucher and a little inspiration, I headed to Hot Yoga Wellington for my first ever hot yoga session, without a doubt I’ve had nothing but love for yoga ever since.

Favourite style of yoga:

All yoga is my favourite but the practice I enjoy the most in yin-yang, to be able to flow from pose to pose and increase my flexibility then nourish my connective tissue with deep stretches leaves my body feeling long ad limber.

Favourite travel destination:

This a hard one for me to answer , I’ve been to so many incredible places and still have so many exciting places to explore, however, if I had to pick a place to move to tomorrow it would be South America.

 

WHAT YOGA HAS MEANT TO SAM

When you think of confrontation, what comes to mind? A disagreement with a friend or family member, miscommunication with work colleagues or perhaps an altercation with a stranger. I’d like to think I’m a reasonably happy chilled out person most the time but like everyone, occasionally, I get upset, I get anxious, I have bad days and I have to deal with confrontation. Let’s be honest, nobody enjoys being confronting or being  confronted but it’s a part of life, so imagine my surprise after a month into a steady 4 day a week yoga practice when I begun to confront myself.

The concept of self confrontation is weird, you’re not standing in a mirror telling yourself off, you’re not thinking about yourself in a negative light. How am I confronting myself? The answer for me at least, is by letting myself go in my practice. It’s so easy to be comfortable in our everyday lives; we get stuck in routines or actively avoid doing things that put us in uncomfortable situations whether it is physically or emotionally. I am guilty of avoiding discomfort, especially emotional discomfort, I will quite contently bottle up these ‘uncomfortable feelings’ and bury them deep, so deep I forget they exist. When I’m on my mat holding a pose, concentrating on nothing but breathing and opening my body that’s when these ‘uneasy feelings’ appear and it can be confronting. Confronting to think of situations where I could have behaved differently, people I could have treated better, things I should or shouldn’t have expressed- the recognition that this is the beginning on the road to a greater sense of self acceptance.

Our bodies have the ability to be weighed down with so much subconscious baggage; yoga has encouraged me to confront myself head on both in and out of practice. My mat has become a place to melt everything away and reset my mind after a busy day; my practice has become a way to let go of that subconscious weight and walk home feeling like a breath of fresh air.

What is yoga to me? Yoga is hard, yoga is personal and yoga is honest- yoga is for everyone.

More from Sam:

Facebook: facebook.com/optimisticalchemist

Website: www.theoptimisticalchemist.com/

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