In the second half of 2006, I visited a sick friend in the hospital. That visit brought to light the preciousness of my own health and I decided to get a physical checkup. Surprisingly, the report came back with bad news. I was, in fact, ill, a fact that led me to be very depressed.
On an October day not long after, I attended my first yoga class ever, when I happened to notice the big SPACE YOGA sign on Tien-Mu East Road. It was a Hatha class taught by Sharon W. and I recall thinking to myself before the class was about to start: "What am I doing? I'm so out of shape, how can I possibly last for 90 minutes?" During the class, I breathlessly tried to follow along with all the poses. Somehow, with grinding teeth, I got through to the end, to Savasana and I finally felt a sense of relief and joy. Nevertheless, I was proud of my determination for finishing. That marked the start of my yogic path...
At the beginning, I only went to class sporadically out of laziness. But, in 2007, circumstances caused me to plummet to the lowest point of my life. Yoga was the only outlet I had for any relief; it allowed me to find a peace of mind to get through the trough I was in that year. After that, anytime I felt the need, I ran to SPACE, the only place that allowed me to feel completely secure and relaxed. It was on the rectangular yoga mat that I was able to shed my mask and to see my true self.
After a period of diligent practice, I excitedly registered for last year's Teacher Training. Unfortunately one month right before the training, I injured my lumbar. It was so painful that I had difficulty standing, sitting, or even lying down, forget about doing any backbends. The doctor ordered me to stop practicing any yoga. It was a huge blow. I felt almost as low as three years ago, where the days were filled with constant whining and self hatred. Luckily, my condition got better after a month long rest and I was again able to step back into the warm and familiar surroundings of SPACE. I would never forget that moment - sitting on the mat, my mind was at peace and my breath felt smooth. And yet my heart was not at all calm; it was shaken, shook up by a tremendous sense of gratitude for getting another chance from God.
Even though my lower back and thighs may still be sore from some of the poses, but I've learned to accept it. Besides being glad for being perseverant, I'm very thankful for Ada, Sharon W. and Vicky’s teachings, support and confidence. I also like to thank Sally for her encouragement. She always says: "Any pose needs many years of practice. As long as you practice, you can achieve it. It is just a matter of time." Of course, I feel very fortunate for discovering SPACE Tien-Mu, where I had the opportunity to integrate yoga into my life.
Difficulties are opportunities. From being discontent about myself and my life, to being able to courageously accept life's challenges, I believe this is the lesson yoga has taught me: accept your own emotions and face your own imperfections. Try to digest and integrate all the joys and sorrows, and learn to turn unhappiness into happiness.