I am Reggie, and I practiced Yoga for the first time eight years ago as an alternative fitness class, alongside my work out routine in a gym back home in Brazil.
At that time I didn’t know exactly what Yoga was. I just decided to try it because I was told it would help me with anxiety and stress. My teacher was a man, and he helped to make me feel less awkward in a class full of women. It was a Yin Yoga class (which involves variations of seated and supine poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes). As someone who had never done Yoga, you could imagine all the thoughts that came to my mind while holding a pose for 5 minutes in the huge silence in the class. I remember thinking: “This is uncomfortable. How long are we supposed to stay here? What am I doing here?”.
That first class was not enjoyable at all, however my body felt good after the class and I decided to go to the next one, and it became part of my routine twice a week. After a short while I no longer felt uncomfortable. I started to concentrate on my breathing and relax more into the pose. Then Yoga became more than just a fitness class and turned into a time where I could focus on myself and use my breath as a trigger to bring me back to the present moment. Before long this I found I was more concentrated and focused in whichever activity I was doing in my life, and I started to be less stressed and definitely my anxiety slowed down . Yin Yoga was part of my life for a year, until I moved from Brazil to Europe in 2012.
It was five years since my first Yin Yoga class that I joined Hatha Yoga. It was at the beginning of 2018 when I started to experience something different in a Yoga class, it made me start to listen more deeply to my feelings and it brought out emotions, tears and desire for change. It was when I realized (or started to accept) I was going through a depression and I needed professional help. At that point Yoga and meditation helped me to bring some clarity and understand what was going on in my life.
In that same year I decided to join the Yoga Teacher Course at EnergyWise Academy in Edinburgh, to find out what Yoga is about. And it was a great 10 months experience where I learned not only about Yoga and anatomy but it also helped me to build confidence to teach Yoga in a language that is not my first one, and made me able to design classes which carry my own Yoga experience.