My father has raised me as a sport lover. He taught me badminton, pingpong. He brought me to a habit of ‘no day without working out’. He played tennis three times a week. We had jump rope and dumbbells. Simple useful things.
As I grew up, moved to other city and built a family, I started to do aerobic exercises as a routine. It is fun and full of benefits, for my cardio, for my fitness. Now as I am aging, I need to lower the intensity of jumping. So I turned to yoga.
Being a yoga beginner, I don’t only come to classes. I open my eyes wider through internet. I search webs. And one interesting thing I found is the yoga community on Instagram.
There I found, and then follow, many yoga experts and beginners. There are so many things to share and learn.
One interesting thing I noticed is that most of the ig-yogis/yoginis post their best pictures in best pose. Including me (though I know my best is still not good enough). I think that is normal. We always want people to see good sides of us, and tend to hide the bad parts. Sometimes we just don’t realize that we don’t only learn from good things, but bad things as well.
I see that in yoga teachers instagram accounts, they post best pose, acrobatic, and often beyond my imagination. How could they have such strength and flexibility? They always come with motivating words. One said it took years before she came to her ability now, to do incredible folds and handstands and twists and more. But I only see the best part where they do things perfectly. They share tips but even tips look too complex to do.
Then I found Doodi @sister_yoga, a yoga teacher from Abu Dhabi, who continuously shares her daily practice. She is different. When other experts choose to appear elegant and classy, she comes in a casual and often naughty way. I believe some people will think she is also bitchy. But it is fine with me. She is beautiful, she is funny, she is crazy. And with her craziness she made doing yoga really fun and less depressing. Even when she says it is depressing.
She doesn't only show perfect beautiful poses. She sometimes breaks the silence with humorous costumes and captions. And the best part is, she also shares her failures in her daily practices.
Some people may think it is a shame. Or at least funny. Yes, at first I also laughed and thought, ‘this woman is crazy.’ But seriously I think it is more encouraging and motivating than only seeing perfect poses with written tips below. Beginners like me need to see the falls and ups during exercises. I see how Doodi never gives up on the way to succeed doing new difficult asanas, showing persistence, and results don’t come in an abrakadabra. For real. I’m not saying other yogi/yoginis didn't do so. I just couldn't see it. It is easier for me to absorb what I see, than if I have to take time to imagine the hard work they do. Motivations don’t come only in words but also in actions.
Showing people your failures isn't a shame. It is a brave thing to do. This is one of her falls and ups on the way to a jump handstand. I couldn't save the video to post it here so please just check out on her site.
So will I give up and say, ‘This is difficult. I will never be able to do this’ when I have to learn a new higher level asana? No way. Everyone has their own limits. I know I have mine. My biggest struggle is to keep my spine lengthen and straight (as it is a little rounded). And off course my poor flexibility. Still I have to learn a lot. That yoga is more than body exercises; it is also for soul and mine.
As my teacher said, to always be positive, we are warriors who struggle fighting our own ego. To remind ourselves that yoga isn't a competition with people around us. It is about building our own strength and abilities. It is for own health. For our own goodness.
I am still far behind, I still have a lot more to learn. And I will try to have that motivation and persistence to get to achievements.