September 25, 2022
How Yoga Changed My Life
My name is Chris Walker, and I love this SHIT! What exactly am I talking about?
Drum roll please …
Big surprise, YOGA. I just love it. I loved it so much as a student that I wanted to teach it.
But WHY? The why is simple, but it comes in three parts.
- I realized at the ripe age of 31 in the midst of my deepest bout of depression alongside a fortuitous toe dislocation (I know, ouch!) that I wanted to be more flexible, so I signed up for a yoga trial membership next to my flat in London. I learned very quickly that even the physical practice was way more than “just stretching”.
- I went to my first class taught by a male teacher, and I felt amazing after the practice. Even more, I had this realization that this guy was just like me. He was a regular dude having a regular conversation just like I would; the conversation just happened to be about yoga. I thought at that moment, ‘I can do this too, and every time I do, there is a chance that another human being can potentially feel as good as I do right now in response to something I did.” It sounded magical.
- I signed up for my first yoga teacher training, and our first philosophy discussion broke down the translation of the word yoga and at least one of the goals. Yoga, derived from YUJ, means to bring into union or to connect. Furthermore, it was explained that the intention of the practice of yoga is to connect deeper to Atman, our true selves, so that we can connect deeper to Brahman, the infinite universe/world around us. It is here along with the following +4 years of teaching and practicing yoga that I came to understand the power of connection.
Connection changed my life. To connect to myself, my true self, my authentic self was just the start. For it was only through starting this journey that I could ultimately begin the journey of growing my self-awareness and find unconditional self-acceptance. I have felt different than everyone else around me for my whole life, and I’ve struggled most of my life with a true feeling of belonging that I was enough just as I am. So this yogic journey for me was a cultivation of a practice of self-connection and self-acceptance and some might even say self-love (not me of course because that word is soooooooo overused, but it does hit the nail on the head here).
I do my best to show up in all of life’s practices as me, fully me. I try to have faith that me being me is enough. This is the goal. Sometimes I do great at this, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge. I worry about what people think about me. I am scared of being judged, but I try to minimize how that impacts my belief in and love for myself.
This is me as a person, a student, and a teacher. I’ve committed my life to connecting to myself and helping others do the same. Every time I show up to the mat as a teacher, I show up as myself with whatever is alive for me in the moment or on that day. Sometimes it’s happy happy dance dance, and sometimes it’s that kinda shitty feeling. Regardless of the feelings, it’s all real. For my classes, I bring focus on your intention. For power yoga you can expect heat as your body will be pushed to the edge. You will come to find creative sequences that are both balanced, challenging and fun. For yin (side note for a later time, YIN is my jam!) we will explore the asanas along with the life lessons rooted in Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine. It will be like story time with Chris Walker with a side of stretching.
Big love to the IDM TV family. I am so pumped to practice with all of you!