In my 20s I was playing volleyball and beach volley professionally in Greece. My life was fast and there was continuous pressure to perform. My body sustained injuries that could only be half-fixed through surgeries. As a result, I ended up with three knee surgeries and more recently, two big toe surgeries.
The good ol' days
But sports wasn't all bad. I was living an exciting life, I was travelling while meeting new interesting people, I was on TV and signing autographs and I was making good money. It was intense. However, all this came to an end at the peek of my athletic career when I decided to retire and have my first daughter.
For years I was trying very hard to keep my body moving. I have always loved going to the gym and lifting weights and I have muscle memory. But growing older, I needed to find a way to be gentle and kind to my body and offer it a milder way of exercising.
I started with pilates and I loved the dynamic nature of the practice. Yoga was always my second choice for some reason and I was dipping in and out of practising yoga in a class environment.
I now know that yoga is so much more than what we practise on the mat. It's philosophy, meditation, pranayama (breathing), a way of life, and not just asanas (poses). Of course I had no idea back then that yoga would be such a big and integral piece of my life today.
That depth scared me initially. I didn't think I was worthy of learning how to practise yoga while looking inwards. I wanted to be a 'visitor' and not a 'host'. Until I found the teacher that motivated me to dive deeper into the practise of yoga by creating a warm, inspiring place where I could feel the effect of yoga in my body. I have spoken about Kirsty in another blog, you can read that story here.