Hello fellow yogi’s and yogini’s 😊 My name is Elisa and I have been blessed to share a post with you about how I found yoga, returning from a working holiday visa year in Australia and finding myself now in the midst of yoga teacher training, practicing weekly in Hot Yoga Dublin / Yoga Next Door to deepen my practice and learning to self love.
Was it an easy journey? Nope. Was it worth it? Yes!
I hope you enjoy my little story and if this can inspire just one person out there to take a leap of faith, find a deeper meaning to the yoga lifestyle, then it’s worth every word.
So, I stress. A LOT. Like about everything. I have anxiety. A LOT. I remember an anxiety attack I had down in Clontarf where I rang my mother crying. My mind loves to tear me down. Going even further back than 2 years ago, I was a hot mess. Drinking a few times a week, eating bad foods and allowing others control my happiness. I didn’t understand what it was to feel grateful. I didn’t practice self love. If anything I was tearing myself down week on week. Working to make money so I could drink and party. In 2013 it all started to change because I wanted it to change. I lost 2 stone in this time and fell in love with fitness.
Only we can make the changes in life. We must act.
So what did I do to make changes?
I went to my first Reiki session in 2013. This opened my eyes to how blocked up I was emotionally. I cried for 3 hours after my first session. Over the course of my yoga teacher training and incorporating yoga into my daily life, I realised how much stress, suffering and different emotions we clog up in our own bodies. If you want to know more about that, look up information on the Chakra’s. Fascinating stuff 😊 I am not saying I became a chanting Buddhist yogi from that day on, but it ignited something inside of me.
In 2014 I found the practice of yoga through an online fitness community I am in (Tone It Up). I started practicing at home using YouTube videos (Yoga With Adriene). The calmness it brought to my life was amazing. The movement, stretch and flexibility were exactly the kind of movement I wanted during stressful times.
In 2015 I decided I needed a dramatic change in life. I was single nearly 2 years at that stage by choice, so why not go crazy. I was turning 30 at the end of 2015 so I only had one more year to avail of the working holiday visa. So I booked a one way ticket to Perth, Australia where my best friend lived. I left my comfortable financial career after studying accountancy. Yes, it’s easy to stay in a job because the money is decent and the ability to save. But save for what? When you can’t live a life that makes you wake with a smile every day? Don’t get stuck. Do what makes you happy!!!
I was going to study a new career path, a new skill. Personal Training. You know when you have all these great plans and the universe comes knocking on your door with a lovely challenge? We all have it. Where things seem too good to be true?! Well my challenge came 3 weeks after booking my ticket. The love of my life arrived into my life. ha ha. We had 6 months together before I left for a year. We survived a year apart. It was hard year.
Mentally, physically, emotionally and financially but I made it through. I look back and see it as a challenge I conquered and I now focus on the future. I try not to dwell on the past, it can’t be changed.
Before I left for Australia I went to counselling. I love talking about it because unfortunately mental health is something people shy away from. There is nothing wrong with asking for help to talk through issues. This helped me work on loving who I am. To know I am good enough and prepare me for a tough year ahead in Australia without my family and boyfriend. Yoga is my therapy.
I am worthy.
Now I am back, working on starting my own business by the end of the year and training to be a yoga teacher myself 😊
Hot Yoga Dublin was the first real yoga studio I ever went to. I wasn’t as mindful back then and went for the fitness element of Hot Yoga. But I loved it. Jo and Jane are such gorgeous women, so warm and friendly. So while in Australia I made the decision to book my Yoga Teacher Training (which I will complete in December this year :)). I began shortly after I arrived home from Perth. Unfortunately, the Hot Yoga Dublin teacher training was not available when I was looking to book my place but I don’t doubt I will be at a future one to gain more skills!! I attend Hot Yoga Dublin and Yoga Next Door classes at least 4 times a week. There is nothing quite like going to a public class. The encouragement from your teacher, physical adjustments when required and the space to grow as a person and yogi. I love it. Especially the décor. Girls, please come decorate for me!!! Haha. I like to mix it up. I don’t stick to just one class. I love Ashtanga with Judit & David, Yin with Lisa and a good hot session with Jane!
Remember asana’s (postures) are only one small part of the yoga life. There is so much more to it. The more I learn, the more I grow as a human. The fuller my heart feels. The happier my mind is. But I do love to headstand when I get the chance😉 The feeling of our blood rushing the opposite direction!
We had a 8 limb assignment at the beginning of our YTT. To pick one of the 8 limbs to bring into daily life. I chose Ahimsa which is non-harming. It was eye opening. We are a very judgemental society. Especially towards ourselves. It’s quite scary. Finding love in situations where it is difficult is a great test. Why not take the next week to practice non harming? Write down times where you feel you are judging yourself. Write down when you feel you are judging others? What is the point of that judgemental thought? This also ties into harming others, animals and any living being but I won’t go down the Veganism route today 😉
For me… it’s simple. Yoga to me is about ME. It’s all mine. When I am on that mat I am helping myself. I am using moving meditation to calm my nervous system. It is not about anyone else. It is not about that person on the mat next to you. It is not about the teacher in the studio. They are there to guide you through YOUR practice. I am challenging my body during class. I am strengthening my muscles which will be a benefit when I am older. At the end in Svasanana, I am going inwards to train my mind. To lie there with my mind. To practice with it. Our mind needs to be trained like our bodies do for ultimate health.
I find sitting in silent meditation very difficult. It is something I need to work on, but yoga asana’s, I could do all day. The movement along with pranayama (breath) seriously is like a happy pill to my anxious nervous system.
Yoga has saved my life. I really believe that. I am so excited about the future, about my business, about growing my yoga life. Loving big, practicing gratitude daily and using my pranayama (breath) to help me through any difficult situations that may arise. I am a different person to who I was 5 years ago. Yes, a lot of factors contribute but on a bad day, the only thing that pops to mind that will make me feel better? Roll out my mat and flow…. (and eat some dark chocolate 😉 )
I hope to see you in the studio some day 😊
My social media is @elisalooby on Instagram so you can follow my daily activities with fitness and yoga!
Love & Light.