Finding My Passion For Yoga In China

Note from Editors: In view of the current situation, please avoid all unnecessary travel and try to stay home. Don’t worry, like all things, it will end at some point and you’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, check out what you can do while staying at home.

”Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.”

Jason Crandell
Morning yoga stretch at Songshan Lake, Dalang, Dongguan.
Morning yoga stretch at Songshan Lake, Dalang, Dongguan.

Sometimes it’s too much too handle…

Today’s post is very personal. I sometimes feel an urge to share my feelings and mood swings when in China with a larger group of people (one of the perks of being a blogger). I came back from Europe to China 3 months ago with certain ideas and goals in my head to implement:

  • Travel more frequently around China on my days off.
  • Plan South America Journey for 2015 (6 months on the road).
  • Start learning a new language and improve my oral Chinese.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and inspire others to do so.
  • Make eTramping more informative.
  • Publish our first e-Book.
  • Improve my teaching skills at work.
  • Get myself ready for moving to Europe for a year to do my Master’s Degree in Social Media and Blogging.

I love challenges and I’m ambitious but this time it was definitely too much to handle. I worked long hours in the kindergarten to become more efficient teacher. I spent hours in front of my laptop blogging, e-mailing and working on our social media channels. I worked out a lot. I studied a new foreign language for hours (Dutch). I traveled like crazy during the weekends. I didn’t sleep much. I put too much pressure on myself. One morning I just broke down in tears…

I was sleep-deprived. I had a bad cold. I felt miserable. I hated my blog. I hated my travels. I hated China. I fell out with Cez. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Total slough and emptiness.

Time for meditation
Time for meditation.

Then my mom came along saying Sit down for a minute, quiet down, meditate and pray. Make your mental and physical health priority. Find serenity and fight your stress!”

So I did.

I packed my yoga mat and put on some sport clothes. I cycled to one of  the most relaxing and charming places in Dalang – Songshan LakeI sat down on the grass. I totally chilled out. I closed my eyes. I started controlling my breathing. I calmed down. It was just me and my thoughts. Nobody around. The time stopped…

Yoga at Songshan Lake
Meditation.

After a couple of minutes I started loving this feeling of not being stressed anymore. I smiled. I was getting back to my old me – full of energy and positive attitude towards life…

That day made me realize that I lack balance in my everyday life. It’s been always black or white, one extreme or another, my way or no way, 100% in or out. I wanted to change this. I don’t need to be perfect all the time – nobody is. I can’t put so much pressure on myself. I need to find this balance between working hard and chilling out. It’s ok to be lazy for a day or two, go for a trip without making notes every 5 minutes while thinking of the next blog post and taking photos like crazy. I need more fun and more time for myself.

Finding the balance through yoga and meditation

I started reading about yoga and meditation a lot. As Catholic, I don’t believe in Buddhist approach to life and after-life (although I fully respect it), but I found yoga (as a form of exercise) and meditation (as a form of relaxation) so beneficial.

A girl is doing yoga poses for beginners
My favourite yoga poses

Yoga:

  • It increases my strength and flexibility.
  • It lowers my blood sugar.
  • I feel much healthier and fitter.
  • I sleep much better.
  • I’m definitely more relaxed throughout my day.
  • I have my energy.
  • My migraine and tiredness is gone.
  • I started to appreciate little things happening in my life I never paid attention to before.
  • I focus more on fixing things, not destroying them.
A girl is stretching her body on the grass
Stretching my body before yoga routine.

Meditation:

  • It helps me quieten down and release my stress and get myself ready for a busy day in China.
  • I started listening to my body and follow my heart.
  • I became more organised when it comes to work and travel.
  • I’m on a good way to change my lifestyle and find my balance between work, travels and sport.

What I love the most about yoga is the fact everyone can do it and I can do it anytime I want and anywhere I want. All I need is a piece of ground, a yoga mat and some water.

A girl is trying new yoga poses
Trying new yoga poses

I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for more than a month now. I’m totally new to it so I discover new things every day which is so exciting. I do some meditation right after I wake up to get myself mentally ready for a busy day at work. As for yoga, I try to practice it every two days for about 15 minutes at home or go for a longer 45 minute sessions at the lake.

I try to be creative and innovative so I often come up with some “weird-looking” poses nobody else could follow (Cez can’t stop laughing when observing me), but I don’t really care as long as the poses make me feel good and more flexible.

A girl is exercising
Up and down

Everyone has their own way of dealing with pressure and stress nowadays. I’m glad I found mine. So far it’s been working well and I hope it will stay this way.

‎”The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”

B.K.S. Iyengar
apple, coconut and water
My 3 yoga companions – apple, coconut and water

Have you ever practiced yoga? How do you cope with the stress when working, traveling and/or blogging?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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75 thoughts on “Finding My Passion For Yoga In China”

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Sweetie, I hope we can catch up and do some yoga in Poland next time. I know how much you loved Polish weddings. I will invite you to mine in 15 years :).

  1. I love yoga, and don’t do it enough. It’s interesting we don’t see more bloggers write bout yoga actually, because it’s the ultimate transportable exercise – all you need is a mat really, and they’re not big or heavy.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I know and it’s a pitty really that not many bloggers practice it, neither write about it. I’m so into yoga right now. My next goal is to learn how to handstand :). Keep you fingers crossed for me!

  2. Casey @ A Cruising Couple

    I love yoga! I’ve been practicing on my own for about two years now, but since we’ve been in Costa Rica I’ve made it a priority to practice with other people and grow my practice through the community. I think yoga is really so good for everyone, for both mental, physical, and spiritual health. I’ll be blogging about our yoga sessions in Costa Rica soon- I’m so excited to share all the growth from just a few classes. Keep it up!!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I’ve seen your photos guys on Facebook. Your yoga is poses are so advanced. I hope to get there soon! Thanks!

  3. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    I used to do yoga a few years ago and started back again at home. It really did help with my stress level and busy life. I’m glad you found a way to meditate and relax. You’ve certainly found some beautiful places to practice yoga in China. Excited to read about your future plans. Wishing you lots of luck as you pursue your dreams.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thank you so much Mary. These words mean a world to me. Yes, yoga does help a lot with stress level and busy life. I’m glad you also practice it on your travels <3.

  4. Love this personal post, Agness! I also put a lot of pressure on myself, and when I get overwhelmed I tend to just shut down. School work could be piling up and I could be way behind with my blogging and family commitments and my response is to do nothing but sit and watch tv. It’s like I get paralyzed. Think it’s time to give yoga a try!

  5. Wow Agness judging by those pictures you are very flexible and have picked yoga up very quickly. It is great to hear that you find it so beneficial too.

    I did once try some yoga DVDs (bought in China funnily enough) but didn’t dedicate enough time to it.

    Wow, I didn’t know you could get a Masters Degree in Social Media and Blogging. That is great. Mind you, you’ve worked so hard in these areas over the years you should probably teach the course!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thanks the Guys, I’m practicing yoga a lot and still have a lot to learn but so far so good!
      Try some YouTube videos, they are simple and great!
      Yes, nowadays you can study anything you want from cooking to blogging, which is so awesome!

  6. Such an honest blog post and I’m so pleased you have found something that works for you. I’ve only tried yoga a few times in the past but I think I need to give it more of a shot, it really does seem to help people during stressful times. Love the bendy poses! :-)

  7. You look great Agness. I should try some yoga really. I have done it a few times, but got really bored with it. I know relaxing is the whole point about yoga, so maybe I should give it another chance and don’t treat it as being boring.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hey! Thanks a lot. It can be boring when you are not focused and/or relaxed. Once you get into it, you will love it!

  8. Excellent writing on your yoga and what it did for you. I am also a Yoga fan and agree with you entirely how it can help you in your times of stress. Lovely and excellent photos of yourself in the yoga poses. By the way, don’t worry too much about your next blog post. Let it come naturally and if you can’t think of anything, you can always post a picture.

  9. Yoga can really help with stress, especially if you do it regularly and with meditation and proper breathing. I wish I had more time to devote to yoga.

  10. Agnes, so happy to hear about your inner journey and new found interest in yoga/meditation. Please keep it up, it is the most amazing journey one can make. As your meditation practice deepens, you will start to create immense inner space. In this space the gap between your witnessing self and your thoughts will get bigger, you will begin to see your thoughts more objectively. As you learn proper self-observation your self-awareness will increase, you will be able to observe yourself in the moment while simultaneously remembering yourself. This will begin to help you see yourself as you truly are, and not through any of the conceptual ideas you had of yourself. Wish you the best. Namaste. I am also a fellow yogi/traveler.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hey Ivan. I can’t wait for this moment to develop my self-awareness skills! Right now I am mostly focusing on calming myself down after a busy day at work and relax. I know I wanna keep practicing, it has been so beneficial for me! I will keep it up and hope to get there you are now in a year or so :).

      1. Agness Walewinder

        Thanks a lot for that. Will check it out and I’ll get back to you in case of any questions :).

  11. I love yoga but I must admit I have dropped the ball on it a little lately, I intend to make it a new year’s resolution to get back into daily yoga.

  12. Charli | Wanderlusters

    Thanks for boosting my desire to incorporate yoga into my routine in 2014. It’s something I think I never have time for but as you say 15 mins will set me up for the day ahead. Lovely post Agness!

  13. Hi Agness,

    It’s been ages since I’ve stopped by. I see you’ve been busy! I wanted to comment on your post because I started taking yoga classes in Changchun, China eleven years ago. My classes were indoors and in Chinese, and China was the last place I ever thought I’d get involved in yoga, but it has become a lifetime activity for me and it’s something that I enjoy a lot.

    So to answer your question, yes, I practice yoga and I use it to deal with the stress of working, traveling, and blogging. Great article and great photos, as usual!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hi Carrie,

      Thank for the message. I used to do a lot of yoga in China, but now I started jogging again, but miss it a lot these days. I’m happy you also practiced it in China. It’s been such an amazing experience for me!

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