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My Yoga Journey

By Kateryna Bakh on Jan 16 2014

Fashion and Art lover, Film and Literature Student. Enjoying my life with an open heart and a smile on my face. I am happy to share my interests with you and show all those pretty items that could bring some more beauty into your perfect life

I find my inspiration in the paintings of Renoir and Gauguin, films by Cocteau and Bergman, poetry of Eliot and Brodsky.

Yoga, Meditation, Love are my remedies for the soul!

My yoga journey started in 2010 when I first took Ashtanga class with my friend who used to have private lessons at her house. I didn’t hesitate too long when my friend invited me to practise with her and I quickly found myself standing on the top of the yoga mat in my pyjama. The instructor introduced me to Ujjayi breathing which is typically done in association with asana practice. The “ocean sound” technique seemed very natural for me despite that I had never practised it before. I remember the flow of postures was very smooth and comfortable. It is important to start your yoga practise from the beginners’ level, so you can understand the actual purpose of the asanas. After the class we were resting on the floor and the feeling I had was very new to me. I felt empty.

For about an hour I was listening to my own breath and was so concentrated on the postures that I didn’t think about anything else. Usually my head is like a radio station which constantly streams dIfferent waves of thoughts that can be very tiring. With yoga and meditation which I discovered a bit later I noticed that my physical and mental state started to change. My sleep improved a lot, my mood doesn’t swing that much and now I can actually turn that radio in my head off and find stillness. I’ve been practicing for four years now in various yoga studios in Kiev, Moscow, New York and London and tried a number of different styles. I personally think that it might be helpful to try quite a few yoga styles to discover what suits you the most and that journey is pretty incredible!

I believe that our organs and bodies keep the memory of the past events that hurt us, which keep us stuck and sometimes stop us from living life full. Yoga helps us to eliminate the toxins from the body and the mind, and to become more aware of our lives. With a regular practise you can access higher states of consciousness and liberate entire being from the fears of ourselves and the others. Yoga reveals to us a new world of possibility and freedom; it can heal and change us inside and out. It is a path we chose towards meeting our true self and the harmony of the human spirit. Be kind and patient when you start practicing, listen to your body and remember that “yoga is not about touching your toes, it is about what you learn on the way down...”

As I mentioned before my regular yoga practice is Ashtanga, it is a pretty challenging style of yoga which require some physical strength. If you like to exercise or just want to try more demanding yoga style- go to Triyoga and take a class with Saskia Vidler. The studio has three different locations, you can find online when and where exactly Saskia teaches the classes for beginners and be ready for a strict but great practice with her!

If you feel like you need Monday detox after the weekend or just want to eliminate impurities practicing in a hot room, catch up with Hortense Suleyman in Fierce Grace City. Be ready to sweat like you have never done in your life! If you comfortable with staying in the hot room for a while, Bikram yoga practice will take you dipper into the stretch and live you with a new sensation in your body after the class.

Kundalini yoga might be good to try if you interested in having more relaxed practice and want to get some guidance for meditation. Kundalini is taught in set ‘kriyas’ which are series of dynamic and static exercises, using postures (asanas), gestures (mudras), pranayama breath, body locks (bandha) and chanted words (mantras). I would highly recommend taking a class from Angad Singh who teaches at Sadhaka Yoga. It is also worth staying for the amazing Gong meditation afterwards!

You can also combine a slow flowing sequence of asanas with pranayama, deep relaxation and meditation, trying Hatha yoga. It is designed to align your skin, muscles and bones. It is a good way of improving your flexibility, strength, and achieving focus, mental clarity, and self awareness. Drop in to Angelika Grohmann’s class at Yoga Place to experience the benefits of restorative practice.