BY DONNA NOBLE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEUN IVORY.
Yoga – means different things to different people, but yoga has had such an enormous impact on my life. Yoga helped me to break out of the confines of society and to heal mentally and physically. By trusting the process of life allowing me to do so effortlessly.
My yoga journey started as a result of a friend being inspired after seeing a picture of Madonna with her leg behind her head and suggested we try yoga. I was game, not realizing what a major impact this decision would have on my life. It was not easy to begin as with most things life got in the way. At the time not realizing how transformative yoga could be.
I was working within the corporate world as a Manager. My life was stressful and I did not have the whole “work life balance” in check — something that I would not acknowledge at the time. I had all the things society led me to believe would provide happiness, the house, car and the job. However, I was so far removed from the younger version of me, being carefree, spontaneous, living life by the seat of my pants and doing things because I wanted to without apology or fear. At this stage I was living my life from an outside-in perspective doing what everyone else was doing. So I assumed that this was right. Living in the matrix…
Becoming ill with a condition called Bell Palsy (where one side of the face becomes paralysed) is when I began to re-evaluate my life and the revolution of my wellness started. Initially, I was embarrassed with this very visible illness, and hid away — only going to places where my friends would accept me. I was grateful because I was still alive — I could have gone to bed that night and not woken up. I know now that was never part of the plan.
After five years of living with the condition and trying all the things advised by the medical profession there was no improvement and I just accepted this. It was almost as though I had given up not realizing how serious it was. Yoga led me to treating healing my body more holistically. I started treatments like acupuncture. After the first treatment I felt tingling sensations in my face — which marked the start of the healing of my body and the condition.
It’s also like the illness was a gift to help me change my life before it became too late to change direction. I often ask the question if I had my life over would I eliminate the Bells? To be honest I don’t think I would — because it has defined me in ways I could not have imagined. I still have the condition and continue to heal in both mind and body.
This is another reason why I believe I have become so passionate about body image. I realized that my body is a miracle — not something to be taken for granted like many of us do.
Some of us covet cars more than we do our bodies — you can chop up a car and put it back together again — this can’t be said for the body. This realization made me appreciate how wonderful my body is. Together with the miracle of the healing and perseverance I started to become whole again.
Some years later I had to deal with redundancy — best thing that happened to me as I don’t think I would have had the courage to deviate from what I thought was my right path voluntarily. Being a yoga teacher was never part of the plan. It was something that I would possibly do once I retired.
The universe had other plans — yoga was going to be a major part of my life a lot sooner than originally planned. This choice came from a deeper sense of knowing — from my gut and not my head. It was observed that when I talked about yoga I would light up and when talking about my job I was so monotone and negative. I decided to go with the flow and choose yoga.
Going to LA to continue my yoga studies, my aim was to stay for 11 weeks but stayed for 6 months traveling around America teaching. Something that was so unplanned and unexpected. This thing called yoga was organically carving out another path for me. So natural and unplanned — but felt so right. I was able to live in a yoga bubble for 6 months — which was so awesome.
There is a trend starting to appear in my deviation from the social norm and expectations. Which was allowing me to come home to myself. Allowing me to live life from an inside-out perspective.
The most, simple act of feeling my little toes on the mat is what helped me to start to connect my mind and body. Listening to my inner voice and discovering my innate wisdom. Which is so freeing and liberating all the same time.
You too should join the yoga revolution — yoga is so much more than fitness, as it will allows you to live your life so completely. Instead of being a by-stander you're able to connect more with yourself and with society. Cultivating self-love and self-care — which are fundamental to a contented existence. So that you start to become more conscious about what is happening in life and not be on the treadmill. You begin to see that you cannot stand on the sidelines and just be an observer of life. Being inspired to take some sort of action to help make this world a better place.
No matter what you matter and you need to realize this. Allow the change to start with you and this will ripple out to your family and friends and this his how we can affect change on a bigger scale.
The change starts with you and then you will be able to change the world in whatever way you were meant to.
Below are some ways in which you too can empower your wellbeing:
Meditation. If the thought of mediation fills you with dread — then just spend 10 minutes daily making yourself bored. This way you can start of listen to your inner voice.
Be aware of what you are putting into your body, allowing you to become healthy. It might be as simple as buying organic fruit or eliminating certain foods.
Journaling is another way in which you can start to tap into what is going into your life.
Gratitude. Write down three things you are grateful for on a daily basis. Allowing you to appreciate the things we have and often take for granted.
Enquiry. Question the things that you do. Are you on autopilot or just doing things because if has always being done this way? This will allow you to live your life authentically.
Fun. Have fun with life — it really does not have to be difficult. Live your life to the max, fully and without fear.
Wellbeing can become effortless. Just take the time to invest in you.
Donna Noble has been practising yoga since 1999. She is the Creator of CurveSomeYoga. She has been a certified Yoga Specialist since 2011 with the Yoga Alliance and British Wheel of Yoga. She is also a Certified NLP Master Practitioner. As well as teaching in New York and Texas she teaches all over the UK, and also taught at the Om Show and runs Workshops and Yoga Retreats. She hosts her own show “The Noble Art of Wellbeing” on Natural Health Radio as well as being a Fitness Writer and Blogger. She is on a mission to make yoga more accessible and diverse.
She contributes to BGIO as she wants to encourage more individuals to experience the transformational benefits of yoga and wellbeing; helping to demystify yoga, making it more inclusive, and especially appealing to individuals that would not normally consider yoga, showing that yoga is for everyBODY. London is the city that she calls home. Her go to self-love practice is yoga. You can find her at www.thenobleartofyoga.co.uk on FB, Instagram and Twitter as @donnaobleyoga and @curvesomeyoga and on Youtube: CurveSomeYoga