My Yoga Practice

Hi everybody! As the title of this post says, I wanted to share with you my yoga practice. This doesn’t have much to do with veganism, but I thought it’s part of the “rainbows” in my life, those positive things that you are looking forward to and will bring a smile on your face especially after the rain (wait, I love the rain, but it’s to give you an idea of the beneficial effect that yoga has on me). Probably now it might have formed in your mind the image of the stereotypical vegan a bit hippy, a “flower child” as this was usually the image that non-vegans had of vegans some time ago: nothing could be more wrong. Well, kind of.

I still remember a very vegan but also very punk/anarchist friend who was also very annoyed at a lot of new-vegans who were saying they were practising yoga: but this was due to the fact that such a stereotypical image could also be poisonous for the vegan movement because people might not see yoga positively, hence associating yoga and veganism would have been bad for the latter. It is a theory.

Anyway. Since I was 14 years old, I was much closer to the “dark/gothic” movement (remember the Evanescence anyone?)

Album cover for "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence. It is a picture with Amy Lee, vocalist of the Evanescence, in the forefront. In the background are the other three members of the band. The colours are black, white and light blue.
Album cover for “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence

This hasn’t much changed over the years: I might have eased up in the fashion of my clothes, but I am always frequenting that scene because, even in my 30s, I have much more affinity with rockers and metalheads than with other music communities. So, how the heck did I get into yoga? Another premise: I have never been good at sports, you know, volleyball, tennis, swimming. Ach! And I dreaded PE: that was absolute hell for me. ABSOLUTE HELL. Especially when I was younger and the boys in my class were always mocking me (big bums anyone?). Things got a bit better in high school because I was attending an almost all-female school, making it less stressful to move my body. This dread of sports ended when I started kung-fu: that was absolutely amazing! True, I felt almost like Kung Fu Panda (and that was also the time it came out), but the other people that were also training there, were all great, supportive and ready to help out. During those years, I formed long-lasting friendships with people that I still visit when I go back home.

In this GIF there is the panda main character of the animated movie Kung Fu Panda doing some kung fu chops ending with a rotating flying kick.
Kung Fu Panda GIF

Around 2012, I was studying at uni and unfortunately the time I could dedicate to my kung fu training wasn’t much, but at the same time I felt the need to do some kind of activity. Enters Tumblr (yes, I had a Tumblr blog). In amongst the myriad of posts from all over the world, I saw this image challenging you to hold each pose for 30 seconds:

Infographic with 28 small pictures depicting a woman holding different yoga poses.
For the life of me I can’t find the original creator of this picture, as it came on a Tumblr post that was linking to Pinterest. If you know who the creator is, please let me know.

And I am not to shy away from a challenge.

I tried this, very simple, just holding poses for few seconds. I. Loved. It! Since the beginning, I enjoyed this kind of practice: it involved concentration, discipline and patience. It was a great help after a whole day of study, it helped to cope with the stress and tension: focusing on the poses made me momentarily detach from the world, providing 15-20 minutes of mindfulness after a day on the books. Needless to say, I started looking into some more of these poses and Tumblr provided more: see the following infographics (can we call them as such?)

We are in 2018. After all this searching and trying, I found 4 channels that I use the most:
Yoga with Kassandra;
Ali Kamenova Yoga and
Cat Meffan

These four are the ones that I like best: they explain the poses, without being too intrusive; they all have some aspect of light spirituality without being “too much” (if you know what I mean); they all offer videos of different lengths, to suit the needs of most people. I think all their approaches reflect my needs, so I am happy with them all. They all have some “challenges”, which I believe are great to get yourself back into some practice, but maybe they are not the best way to understand if that teacher is good for you.

The differences are that Ali and Cat offer quite strong practices, that are basically cardio. While SarahBeth and Kassandra are more focused on the more “classic” yoga styles (SarahBeth does Vinyasa, Hatha and Power yoga videos, Kassandra is very focused on Yin and Vinyasa).

So, I narrowed it down to these four teachers. However, in the past months, since I have started doing some extra cardio, I felt like Kassandra was the best choice for myself, my body and my mind, at the moment. Then we’ll see! Again, it is very subjective.

I leave you with this Full Body Yoga Flow by Kassandra that she used to spread awareness and starting a fundraising for an Animal Sanctuary in Canada.


Let me know if you are practicing yoga, what style of yoga do you prefer or if you knew any of these yoga teachers!



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