Not too long after I began my yoga journey, I began a hair journey as well. Going from relaxed (chemically treated) and unhealthy hair to natural (naturally growing without chemicals) and healthy hair. Both of them have their lessons to learn. The three ways I connect Yoga and going to Natural Hair are Patience, Peace, and Growth.
Yoga takes patience in many ways. Letting your body begin to get used to the poses, acquiring a more focused mind, and not rushing anything. Just to name a few. Going natural takes tons of patience as well. It takes months (at least 6) of growth to get out all of the chemically treated hair. Then if you are like me with zero hair skills, learning how to take care of and style this "new" type of hair all by yourself. (Yes it is a big deal for me when I get one decent looking braid on the side of my head! lol) There are many techniques and products to try for your hair and for practicing yoga. Sorting them all out is going to take time. What I find is that, the more patient you are, the more time you seem to have because you are focusing in and getting it done right.
Rushing usually means trying to do something the fast and easy way, incorrectly, or by cutting corners. Which in the long run makes everything slower due to the fact you are guaranteed to have to go back and begin again properly, or scrapping what you were working on in the first place. My example is the first time I tried to go natural. I didn't have the patience to work with my hair and gain the knowledge to do it correctly, so I went back to relaxed. I shall not turn 'round again!
Yoga helps you gain peace with your own body. Learning to be okay with how it does and doesn't move. Pacing applies as well due to the fact you have to be okay with, for example, everyone else having a pose you do not at the moment. *cough*downwardfacingdog*cough* Ahem, excuse me. Mental peace is a benefit from all the breathing and sweat, too. Learning to let go of certain things allows you to gain clarity and harmony in exchange.
You may be thinking, "Hair and peace? Are you talking about some Afro or long haired hippy stuff?" No, but feel free if those modes of expression move you. When it comes to going natural, you must make peace with how your hair is. Accepting your hair is kinky, curly or coily and may need more maintenance and time you are used to putting in.
Not forcing your hair to do what you want it to do (being straight or what have you) and accommodating the hair, not making the hair accommodate you. This point goes back to yoga. You must go along with where your yoga practice is taking you and not the other way around. Forcing your practice can be detrimental to your body and forcing your hair to work a certain way can damage your hair. By using Patience, we will eventually gain peace. A lesson that I must always be taught. I'm slowly getting there, and will get there. As will you.
At least for me, yoga is one way I am growing as a person. Completing four days a week at the studio last month was a big deal. Showing myself I can stay consistent with something if I plan and work hard at it. There is also the renewed purpose in my writing, confidence and other things that are slowly developing. Like what I have listed and what will come along later.
Growth comes from yoga opening your mind when a teacher says something that strikes you or from a question you ask. Also, your limbs grow flexibility, as your mind, while your spirit gets stronger. There is the obvious growing in length with hair. I have seen a woman's hair go from her shoulders to her hip in about a year and a half if I am remembering correctly. Keep in mind the skills and knowledge you develop from styling your own hair and looking and experimenting with different products.
Yoga and Hair...Who knew?
Namaste my friend,