Through the Generations

I am 35 years old and I started attending yoga classes at the end of 2016. In the beginning I was quite sceptical and looked with mistrust and I even would say with mockery at people who attended yoga classes. To be completely honest I didn’t have any desire to attend the classes – my mother told me that she was attending a beginners’ yoga course and so that she would not be alone I joined her for the firstclass. I was still sceptical.

The firstseveral classes were terribly hard. For an outside observer the movements in yoga are smooth, light and easy – that’s at least how our teacher looks, as well as the smiling and athletic people on TV who run such programs. But I truly had a terrible time. Especially in the locust pose. In the beginning I used to become breathless and could hardly manage to take (not always together) my arm and opposite leg off the floor– and that with a lot of groaning and sweating. I would have easily quit, but the presence of the other people of different ages in the group motivated me to continue and stop grumbling.

My whole life I have suffered from migraine – since childhood, since I remember myself. With the years I got traumas on the spine and neck, which added discomfort and tingling to the pulsating pain on the right side of my head.

The firstten yoga classes were hardship – somewhere in the middle of the class my vision used to become blurred from the headache and nausea. After the class I could hardly drag myself back home and I would sleep for several hours. With time though, the headache went away – not just during the practices but during the rest of the week when I was not at a yoga class.

I also suffer from insomnia. Before the yoga courses if I slept more than eight hours I again had a terrible headache.

With yoga nidra this problem was resolved – now it is enough just to think of the right foot, big toe, second toe . . . and I am asleep.

I could never bend my legs in the yoga poses, neither squat - I had awful pain in the legs in all positions. At the third level course I do not notice how time passes and I am staying with ease in the positions.

For the last few weeks I have been waking up in the morning with the Gayatri mantra sounding in my head - I do not know how to explain this but it usually happens after I had been more tense the previous day. Somehow while I chant it mentally I stop thinking of whatever has provoked the tension. Maybe this is the desired effect.

In short, yoga definitelyhelped me cope with long-lasting problems and difficultieson the physical and psychological level. I will definitelyattend the next yoga course and would like to express my gratitude towards my incredible and patient teacher.

And here is a letter from my daughter:

Hello!

My name is Ema and I am 9 years old. I have attended yoga classes for nearly one year now. I started the beginners’ course accompanying my mom and grandma so that we could spend more time together - you know parents - they are all the time busy at work and then tired at home, and don’t have time for playing. That is how I hoped to spend more time with mom doing something together. In the beginning it was a little difficultand boring for me - you try to keep quiet more than one hour and not to laugh about the adults who twist into knots.

What did yoga give me? I will tell you now - the confidencethat I can do anything that adults can, and even better than them. Our teacher told me that I am flexibleand perform postures that mom cannot do. I learnt that although I am the youngest in the group I can be an inspiration for my mother. Yoga gives me the confidence that I can do anything. With a little effort I can do anything with my body and mind.

Yoga nidra relaxes me and sometimes I fall asleep but with a smile. I do not think of the hard lessons at school, I relax and travel into the world of imagination and beautiful colours and sensations.

I will continue attending the next classes – not because of mom, but because of myself. I love yoga now.

I would like to thank my teacher for having accepted me in the group of adults as an equal. I am looking forward to the next yoga course!

With love, Emi

—Maya, Bulgaria