Why do I practice yoga?
Maybe because you think it’s a trend. Maybe because I want to be different. Maybe because I want to be associated with zen and calm (and those of you who know me know that’s a lie!). But no. For me, yoga is about the state of mind. Yoga helps me stay grounded and to settle down in the most turbulent of times. Here is my yoga journey and how it began.
I first discovered yoga in Bath. I took this pretty cheap class with a girl from a year above and thought to myself. Hmm, ok. Nothing special. Then I came back to yoga the next year when I started living nearby a hot yoga studio and in exchange for cleaning after class, I got a free pass.
At Fierce Grace Brixton, it was the first time when I started practicing yoga regularly. I went every other week for a 90-minute class and learned relatively soon the FG routine. It was hard and demanding, but I loved it. I always stayed long after class to take it all in and usually would not talk to anyone afterwards. That habit stayed with me up until today.
I continued visiting Fierce Grace throughout my stay in London (three years altogether). But I started feeling the shift inside me. Instead of a hard workout, I was looking for a more relaxed class where I could stretch properly without feeling totally exhausted the next day.
After multiple attempts across various London studios (and rooftops!), I found a wonderful small studio just across the park from where I used to live. I got an intro offer and tried as many classes as I could. I soon discovered that the ones I enjoyed the most were taught by Nadia.
Nadia is this lovely girl who is ready to give you a hug the first time you meet her. She has this aura around her which makes you feel grounded and calm right away. She is what you picture as a human angel. Her voice has this soothing effect that, no matter how hard or challenging your day has been, once you hear Nadia, everything bad fades away, disappears, and all there is left is a surrender.
I always stayed long after class and would not talk to anyone afterwards. That habit stayed with me up until today.
Leaving this cute little studio, Lost in Yoga, and having to quit Nadia’s classes was probably one of the hardest things about moving out of London. I was ready to progress with my life (read more here), but I wasn’t ready to stop practicing yoga! And that’s why I found another great yoga monastery almost immediately after I moved back to the Czech Republic.
I spent my first couple of weeks searching. Again, I tried a variety of places before someone told me that my favorite teacher (from many years ago) has opened up her own studio - Pfeferonka Yoga. I came for a taster and that was it! Exactly what I was missing, exactly what I needed then. And so I went back to hot yoga, only much gentler and slower this time.
Nikol became my yoga guru. We spent time after class talking and even without that, her presence had this amazing effect - on my body as well as my mind. I started thinking about yoga as something else. Not just an exercise to ease the tension in my muscles, but also a way to silent my thoughts and to just be. I picked one class and tried to go every Sunday.
And then? Pandemic happened. And I had to find another way how to stay loyal to my favorite type of movement. And as if the destiny planned it, I came across Nadia’s profile. Since I couldn’t practice hot yoga from the comfort of my home, I started attending her online classes and I was hooked! This was the first time when I felt truly connected to yoga. To my yoga teachers. To a higher purpose. And I finally gave my body, spirit, and mind exactly what they needed.
Once you hear Nadia's voice, everything bad fades away, disappears, and all there is left is a surrender.
Looking back, I have been practicing sun salutations every morning for almost four years now. But it doesn’t feel that long at all. Every morning, whether I have to drag myself out of bed or simply jump out, I unroll my mat and kneel down. I know that, whatever the day brings, this is my safe space. Connecting with my mat, and with myself, allows me to face even the hardest of days with respect and acceptance. Yoga is not about the stretches, nor the breathing, yoga for me is about reconnecting with my mind, listening to what my body needs, and doing only that.
Bath was the first point of contact, Brixton is where when the passion began, Camberwell is where my obsession developed, and Brno is where yoga and I became truly inseparable. And the journey is far from over. But I have loved every step of it. Namaste.