Hello I am Louise, or most people call me Lou, I am the founder of Yoger. I thought a nice way for you to get to know me and why I love yoga so much would be to share my yoga story with you. So here we go, deep breath…
How I found yoga
After many years of looking at yoga from afar, thinking it wasn’t for me and I could never do that. I decided to look for a local yoga class in York, my home city, after a number of visits to my doctor. I had been suffering with depression for a few years, compounded by the grief of losing my dad in 2012, I was really struggling mentally. I also owned and ran a successful business then too and took on all the stresses that brought. But not only did I suffer with my mental health, I was also suffering with lots of aches and pains, mainly in my hips, back and legs, also known as body migraines. My GP and I discussed options to help me gain better wellbeing and to improve my overall health and yoga was one thing that cropped up in our conversation. So in a place of ‘I will try anything’ to break the dark cycle that I was in, doctors orders gave me the push I needed to give it a try. I went along to my first class in May 2016.
After my first class, I fell in love with the practice. I immediately knew this for me, I was hooked. It was like I had found the place where I knew I was meant to be, I found my home, my community. Over the last three years I have only ever missed a couple of classes, due to illness. I really do love it and know this is what I am meant to do forever.
In class we stretch, we hold strong poses, we bend and we breathe deeply, we also smile and laugh too. Over the last year, I have progressed further and I have made the connection of the movements and poses to my breath and my mind, it has become a ‘moving mediation’.
There are so many benefits to Yoga that can be found all over the internet, but here are the benefits I have found.
I am stronger
I am a lot more flexible
I feel calmer
I no longer have pains in my hips and legs
My back is so much stronger
I sleep better after yoga practice
As well as the physical benefits, there are other benefits which are just as important too.
I can handle difficult situations better, it brings me balance
I have become more mindful on and off the mat
It gives me a grounding from where I can make better life choices
It keeps me steady in my mind on a day to day
It’s a really great community to be a part of and I have met lots of lovely new people who share the same love and passion as me.
Why I believe everyone should do yoga
If you know me, you will know how passionate I am about the benefits of yoga and how I feel everyone would gain something from a regular practice. I have had the privilege to practice yoga for over two years and have seen with my own eyes what the difference it has made in my life and other peoples lives around me. I really would love everyone to be able to feel these benefits to enhance their life and wellbeing. I truly believe health = wealth and when we spend time working on our body and mind, we unleash all of our potential, anything is then possible. I am so passionate about this, it is where the idea for Yoger was born, I wanted to connect the yoga community so more people could see and feel the benefits.
A lot of people who I speak to about Yoga are scared of the poses (asanas) and fear having to learn a headstand. But I try to explain that it is much more than that. For me it’s about a process, from where I started (not being able to do simple sun salutations) to where I am now, and then, where I will be in the future and what I will be able to achieve. It is a way to show that through dedication, practice and compassion towards myself, I can achieve amazing things that I once thought were impossible.
The poses are important because they make our bodies stronger and flexible,which is essential as we get older. The mindfulness, meditation and breath work make our minds stronger. It all works together. But I want to stress, as a beginner there are no expectations, you start where you are and move forward in your own time and space, everyone’s journey is so different.
If you are interested in joining a class, check out all the amazing teachers and places you can practice Yoga in York here on the directory
Please do get in touch if you have any questions about my Yoga practice, I would love to hear from you.
Edit: I have now taken the plunge and signed up to a yoga teacher training course. I am a third of the way through and so excited to be on this amazing journey and to be able to help more people feel the wonderful benefits of yoga. Yoga with Louise is starting in September 2019 in York. Yoga classes for everyone. Watch this space…