Harjit: My Yoga Journey
It is safe to say that life can be stressful at the best of times. Our social life, work life, physical and mental health, are just some of the big factors in determining our outlook on life whether that be positive or negative. Unfortunately, there are also many things we cannot control that can have – and had – a huge impact on us. Over the last few years alone there have been several life-changing real world events one after another, which we’re still recovering from. However, there have been a few positives that have come from these hardships we have faced. One of them is renewal importance of mental and physical health. This is why I’m delighted to welcome Harjit, one of our Senior Team Leaders, to talk about her mental and physical journey and how yoga has played a crucial role.
Welcome Harjit! First of all, thank you for taking the time for talking to us. I suppose what better way to start than at the beginning, how did you get involved with PACE?
Thank you for having me! Well, believe it or not I have been with PACE for a long time. I have always been a very sporty, active person. My day job, which I do love, is essentially a desk job. I work for the government so you can probably imagine it can get pretty dry at times. So I did some research on the internet came across PACE, loved what they set out to do, giving people with disabilities a chance to access sport, so I decided to go along to one of the sessions to see what it was like. Safe to say I was very nervous but everyone was so friendly and welcoming I knew I made the right choice.
That’s great to hear! Change of topic slightly now – what appealed you to yoga.
As I said earlier I’ve always been active and sporty, so when lockdown happened in the beginning of 2020, I sort of had a mini-life crisis as I’m sure a lot of people had during that time. A big portion of your lifestyle had just been cut off for nearly two years. It was a huge life adjustment. So I sent myself a goal – a sort of New Year’s resolution if you like- to help fill that void that COVID had opened. Luckily, that’s when yoga came into my life. Up until then, I’ve enjoyed yoga but more as a passing interest. When the pandemic hit, I found yoga helped me get through the challenges of lockdown both mentally and physically. I decided to take it more seriously and wanted to share the benefits of yoga with other people I set a series of goals to achieve, with the main one being, doing a teacher’s training course, which PACE has supported me in and I’m very grateful for that.
Before we touch on your teaching, I just want to ask what is it that you love about yoga?
I could go on for ages! There are so many things I love about yoga. What many people don’t know is that there are so many different types of yoga, such as Yin yoga or Vinyasa yoga, which is the one I’m starting to teach. It is also very adaptable and can be tailored to lots of different people and their abilities. For example, you can do many different poses (term for movement) in your chair and solely focused on your upper body. I think that’s why it could really translate well and benefit PACE members.
The main reason I love yoga though is the sense of positive control it has brought to my life. Since I began my yoga journey almost two years ago now I have definitely noticed a positive change in my outlook. Yoga has become a sort of support line for me. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or just need to detox, wind down after a long day, yoga is there for me which is a real nice thing to have, I’m very grateful.
Is this why you want to teach yoga? I can tell by the way you talk about it that you’re very passionate about it. How’s the transition been from learning to teaching?
You’re exactly right! I’ve developed a real love and passion for it and would love to spread some of it to other people and hopefully get them hooked on yoga too. As for teaching, it has definitely been a fun learning process in developing my poses, routines and goals to try and make my sessions accessible, fun and hopefully make a positive impact on people’s lives – that is the ultimate goal. What I’ve found challenging is to try and fit in poses in a short space of time that is also suitable for the audience that I’m delivering it to. Like I said, it’s a challenge, but one I relish and I’m sure I’ll always try to perfect. PACE has been extremely supportive, giving me a chance to teach some of the members on a Saturday, which I love doing and the feedback I got from those sessions were amazing. I hope to deliver many more in the months to come.
You’ve touched on it briefly at the end there, what does the future hold for you?
I love setting goals as you probably know by now. My tentative goal I’ve set myself for the rest of 2022 is that I would love to be able teach more members, but also their relatives, go into day centres, show them the many benefits that yoga can have because I think it really can be universally powerful, positive force for good, and hopefully, through my teachings they can see the love I have for yoga and fall in love with it too!
To see Harjit in action teaching our PACE members Yoga, join in to the PACE Online session every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.