Heading to the gym, before or after work, every day is what I had been doing for the past one year. While I’d tried many different kinds of workout programmes, including yoga, earlier – it was, however, lifting weights at the gym that eventually got me into a routine. But then there was a pandemic, and everything changed.
As a 20’s something, I had never really been a stickler for routines – I was, in fact, far from ever even having one. Before I turned 30, however, I made a promise to myself that I would pay more attention to my body (blame it on the random aches and pains caused by a sedentary lifestyle). So I signed up at a local gym, got myself a trainer and managed to land up for my sessions more often that not. It was a task, nevertheless, to motivate myself.
I’d lift heavy, I’d lift light, depending on my mood/schedule. I’d made friends with my trainer, so that was a motivation, and as I started seeing results, I began enjoying going to the gym more, and just when I was about to begin calling it ‘my thing’, the nation was put under a lockdown – which meant I didn’t know when I was returning to my routine.
At first, I thought I’ll manage. My trainer sent me functional routines, I was getting workouts from YouTube, and doing the best I could to maintain my interest. I had made a promise to myself, after all. But as days, even weeks passed in lockdown, there seemed to be a lot of noise in my head, and my body did not feel at peace. I was working out but not feeling happy. Which is when I saw a social media post of a friend, in which she was simply sitting, with her eyes closed, breathing. That’s it. It was the expression on her face at that moment which I sought for myself.
And that day onwards, I began by doing simple breathing exercises, every morning, followed by a couple of rounds of sun salutation. I took it slow. I focussed more on breathing than sweating. There was no pressure to achieve a certain ‘cut’ here, it was all about attaining comfort within. As months went by in isolation, I began learning how to lift my own weight. I curated my own routine out of the many available online, disciplined myself, and my thoughts began channelling on their own. And I didn’t feel the need to motivate myself for it. The spiritual practice was motivating me. Yoga made me self-sufficient.
And as gyms remain unopened on my side of the country, to this date, I think it’s safe to say that Yoga is totally ‘my thing’ now. It does wonders to my body, even when I set no goals for the day. I wouldn’t say I won’t hit the gym again, when life returns to normalcy; but I know one thing that Yoga is here to stay.