For eight years I was a yoga dabbler. A bit of this. A bit of that.
I learned Sivananda Yoga on a shady rooftop in Kerala. Hatha at my local gym. And Ashtanga with a dreadlocked teacher in a basement. I signed up for Vinyasa workshops on a whim and spent swollen hours barricaded into a Bikram studio. Nothing stuck.
I felt homeless in yoga. A vagabond. But something about it pulled me back, time and time again. I’d gone to India with the express intention to learn. And as a former burned out athlete and dedicated gym bunny, it became my maintenance. But nothing more.
Everything changed in 2013. I’d returned from my honeymoon in California – during which, whenever my new husband hit the gym, I would find a studio, or roll out my travel mat and practice in our hotel room – and bought a ticket to the London Yoga Show.
There I stumbled upon Ana Forrest’s book, Fierce Medicine. I stood in the bookshop, engrossed, then took it home and devoured it within days, shocked, shaken, in love. I knew I’d found my practice. Within a week I was practising Forrest Yoga and within a year was a certified teacher myself.
Up to then I’d felt like I was looking through a window into the yoga world. An outsider. In Forrest Yoga I found my tribe. People whose stories criss-crossed with mine, whose journeys inspired me and whose friendships I treasure. People who, though on the other side of the world, I feel connected to in a way more real than some I’ve known for years.
At a party last Christmas, I met another new yoga teacher, and as we talked it became apparent that he felt about his practice – Jivamukti – the way I felt about Forrest.
‘I felt I’d discovered a wonderful secret. Everything about it resonated deeply with me and I felt a strong sense of coming home.’
I couldn’t have put it more perfectly. The sense that there is a home for all of us somewhere in yoga both fascinates and excites me. That feeling of belonging, of moving from lost to found, is something I’d love every yogi to experience, and perhaps the driving force behind yoga’s global takeover.
Like your true love, you’ll know when you’ve found your yoga. But here’s what to watch out for.
1. Your teacher becomes a friend
And you thank the yoga gods for bringing this fabulous, fascinating person into your life.
2. Other practices seem weird
Nothing outside ‘your yoga’ makes sense and you huff and modify through everything.
3. No one is safe
You’re able to tell everyone you meet precisely why they need ‘your yoga’ in their life, pronto.
4. You sign up for teacher training
You’re sideswiped by ambitions to teach and before you know it, the deposit is paid.
5. Everything just flows
From finding your practice to landing your first class, a yoga career manifests almost effortlessly.
And there’s a secret six.
Finding yourself in the same corner of Movement For Modern Life over and over again. You promise yourself you’ll mix it up. You log in. And for a moment, your mouse hovers, hopeful, over another style. Then you bail. Back to your classes. Your teachers. Back to ‘your’ yoga.
So to all the dabblers out there. Keep looking. Keep practicing. Keep moving. You’re in the right place. And your yoga could be just around the corner.
This post was written by Lizzy Nichol, a health coach, writer and Forrest Yoga teacher. She helps women reunite with their bodies and get the energy and confidence they need to do awesome stuff with their lives. Find her online, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Looking forward to my first yoga retreat this weekend, at Minsteracres#samanthacoe.