The story of how Yoga found me
My pathway to Yoga was indirect. I was a troubled teenager – rebellious, untamed & wild. Amongst skiving school, sneaking out in the middle of the night and other wicked behaviours, I got a reputation that followed me for many years.
Most adults found me too difficult to manage and I only knew how to connect by doing mischief with fellow peers. But, underneath this hardened shell resided a very vulnerable individual who felt deeply lonely and unlovable.
In an illusionary attempt to be comforted, I looked for friends that felt the same as I did about myself. But, it was our saving grace to be in a country such as Kenya. There was so much freedom to be had and so much nature to explore.
One afternoon, we were gathered in a field underneath the hot African sun, smoking joints and listening to reggae telling us to abolish the system. We felt on top of the world.
And it was an afternoon like any other, but I didn’t know my life was about to change for the better. My friend stood up, finding some inexplicable motivation despite the surrounding haze, and declared she was going to do some Yoga. I didn’t know what that meant, which I was too self-conscious to admit.
I watched curiously as she pulled out a sheet of paper and proceeded to imitate what was on it. My first introduction to Yoga was as simple as that. But, something awakened within me which fuels me to this day.
Continuing the journey
I soon moved to a school that offered Yoga as part of their physical education programme (PE). I was unaware why something in me was so certain this was the only activity I wanted to do. I’m sure part of the reason was to try and be more like my older friends. Plus, all the other exercise options felt too exposing as I carried severe anxiety about my body. Much of the practice felt like a safe haven giving me the opportunity to escape all the other more competitive activities.
I continued attending local Yoga classes at a gym after moving to my family’s home town in Poland for my gap year. After that came university for which I moved to Warsaw to study Cultural Anthropology and Ethnography. We had to choose our seminar groups very early on and I naturally picked “Signs of the Orient”. Even though I was miles away from anywhere warm, a part of me couldn’t stay away.
I didn’t know at the time that studying Yoga in this capacity would be possible, but my tutor had pre-selected this topic and I jumped on it.
Over the next 3 years, I immersed myself in the Yoga community of Warsaw. I practiced at university to receive physical education credits and I interviewed Yoga practitioners as part of my thesis research. I forged my thesis slowly and the material led me to write about the transformative effects of Yoga on people’s sense of identity.
Listening to their stories was like remembering that something in me had been lost long ago. I too craved to rewrite my own life and have a new language through which to speak about myself. You can check where I am currently with this on my About page!
Finding meaning in my Yoga practice
From someone who had been lost for many years, I found something to belong to. The philosophy gave meaning to my life and the movements felt natural to my body. Those formative years inspired a disciplined lifestyle ever more and allowed me to create a relationship with my inner world. I bring what I have learned to all of my classes, just visit my classes page to find a session which resonates with you.
The practice has been a companion ever since inspiring me to grow in ways I hadn’t thought possible. Yoga found me many years ago in a field and, despite the lack of trust I had in myself at the time, an intelligence deep within me knew to pursue this call.
To see some of my journey past and present, check out my Instagram page.