The nickname YogaChick was spontaneously invented by our eccentric Iranian friend. He managed to spread the name amongst all of our friends so successfully, that most of them believe it is my real name. So when it came to choose my Instagram username I didn't have to think twice.
And how did I actually get into yoga? Although putting a leg behind my neck was always a fairly easy task, my journey to yoga definitely was neither easy nor direct. Yoga always seemed rather strange and unbelievably boring to me. I left the first yoga class more than ten years ago bored to death, feeling I wasted sixty minutes of my life without even breaking a sweat. I promised myself never ever to go back again. A few years went by and with my first (and so far last) office job I started having back aches. My flatmates at the time told me to come to yoga with them. I agreed with reluctance and gave yoga a second chance. Et voilá - my back stopped hurting and I even broke some sweat. So I bought a multipass and every Tuesday I looked forward to it - no, not to the class but the good feeling afterwards. Back then, I heard our yoga teacher saying that when she started yoga, it was just another sport for her, but that with time, her life, her values and her view of the world began to slowly change. I had no idea what she was talking about and was secretly shaking my head. Only two to three years later I realised that the same thing happened to me. The changes were slow, inconspicuous, yet permanent.
One of the first changes, was me handing in my notice at work and buying a one-way ticket to Spain. It was also the first moment when I really started enjoying yoga. I purchased my first yoga mat and practised at home by watching YouTube videos. At that time I never spent more than a couple of months at the same place and yoga seemed great, as I didn't need anything to practice, not even my beautiful yoga mat. Back then we were good friends, yoga and me, we went for a date a few times a week, we phoned each other every now and then but there was no real passion between us. And it would have probably stayed like that if I wouldn't have gone to Indonesia.
In Bali, the beautiful sweet-smelling paradise on earth, I fell in love with yoga insanely and didn't want to live without it anymore. Indonesia is a magical country where your secret wishes come true and life is a tiny bit easier. So it seemed crystal clear to me that if I wanted to take a yoga teacher training, there was only one place on earth predestined for it - Ubud. However, the universe in the form of my bank account stepped in and put my feet back on the ground. Full of positive Balinese energy I wasn't ready to give up on my dream. I created a vision board and looked for another possibilities.
And this is where another chapter of my adventure began. In the most colourful and controversial country in the world - beautiful India. One month of yoga teacher training in Rishikesh was one of the most intense experiences in my life. We started our day at 6 am by pranayama, meditation and mantra chanting, followed by a five minute break for a little bit of yogi tea and back to asana practice. In this rhythm, we didn't get to eat oatmeal porridge and yogi tea for breakfast before 10:30 am. This can be very tough, for a lover of long sleeps, big breakfasts and good coffees, like me. Yet this was just the beginning. We continued with eastern philosophy lessons with our favourite 'guru' Dr. Sushil. If you come from the Czech Republic you cannot help yourself and not smile when you hear his name. I must admit I was a little worried I had been tricked by someone before I first met him and as his name sounded very Czech, he might be a compatriot in disguise. However, a few minutes in his presence were enough to be sure that he is the right person at the right place. It is fascinating to listen to him for hours or days and you will learn something new every time. After his lectures we had a simple and of course vegetarian lunch, followed by anatomy classes, yogi tea, workshop, yogi tea, asanas, yogi tea, beans with rice for dinner and... yes, more yogi tea. And this is how the training went day by day until the end with only one cultural program called Shankhaprakshalana – a full body cleanse. I will not describe the details here as it is enough to say that you learn more about your body using this technique than you learn during the anatomy lectures. The meals during the teacher training were monotonous, simple, in fact rather boring, bland and tasteless. Though our cook's big smile always made up for it all and on the day we all passed the final exams he cooked the most wonderful delicious meal full of taste, smells, colours and spices, just like you would imagine Indian food. This is when we all understood that there was a clear intention behind the simplicity. It was a philosophy lesson turned into practice - no attachments - free yourself from all the material, all the enjoyment and focus on spiritual growth. Well done, Dr.Sushil!
Since I received the certificate, my own practice set off on its own path. This rather bumpy, winding road has been lined by amazing people, wonderful experiences, full of joy, worries, physical pain and release but above all it has brought on the realization that the further I go, the less I know and the more I enjoy the journey precisely because it is mine. I have tried many different styles and I alternate them according to what I need and at the same time I try to keep Dr. Sushil's words in mind, that yoga is just one.
So if you have read until here and you want to join me on my journey, even if it's just for a moment, I will be happy if you do. Namaste!