How Bendy's founder found yoga

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Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn  on the way down
— Jigar Gor

Let me repeat: YOGA IS NOT ABOUT BEING ABLE TO TOUCH YOUR TOES!

Really, it isn't. The first response people give, when I talk to them about yoga: " Ooh I could never do that, I am not flexible enough. I can't even touch my toes". Why do people tend to have this obsession with the end result, if there even is an end result (I will discuss this later on). If your only focus is being able to touch your toes or to do a headstand, you will either never reach this 'goal' and stop practising, or with pure willpower achieve it and then think you are done.

No, please do not fall into this tunnel vision  mindset. Not just with yoga, but with other activities as well. Instead of focussing on that ultimate end goal, focus on the ongoing process, focus on the never-ending journey and it will not only changes the way you see and observe the world, but also changes your perception of yourself . With that comes that yoga isn't about self-improvement, but above all about self-acceptance. 

Self-acceptance is something most of us struggle with every day, but by practising yoga over the last 2 years I have established a more forgiving and loving relationship with myself. When I first came to yoga in September of 2014, I expected it to be just another form of exercise. During that time I was in a difficult mental state and had lost all connection between body and mind, treating my body as a superficial mask that I could manipulate to my own desires. It turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made and I am so grateful for the initial push that drove me to my first yoga class. Not only was the environment the total opposite of competitive (like with most other type of sports, activities), there also never was an ultimate perfect end goal or pose. So instead of focussing on the abilities of the other participants in the room, I was urged to focus on my self, on my own body and what it told me it wanted or didn't want to do. The ability to hold a certain pose was not depended on 'how good you were' or 'how slim/toned you were' but on the relationship between body and mind. For example, as soon as I learned to open my heart, I was able to hold different poses such as the wheel pose, but when I felt stressed or negative I could not go as deep into my practice. Then again, learning not to judge myself for that, but simply accepting that that was my current state of mind and letting it go.

One year into my practice, I asked my father to join me. I don't know what made him go this first time, but let me tell you; the morning after he joined me for his second class. Now more than a year later, he still practices at least two times a week, but often more. For him (I hope I got this right) it wasn't so much the mind that needed work, he already had been practising meditation for a while and still does. No, I think that for him it was establishing that relation between the mind and the body, and implementing a physical 'routine' into his daily life. If you want to read more on his journey, you can go over to his blog: qolcompany.

Now yoga is not only my own passion but I also get the possibility to share this with others. To read more on how my own discovery of yoga led to Bendy, go to our Who - Our story page.