I started practicing Yoga for two reasons; Yoga is a healthy exercise and it allows me to direct my wandering thoughts in a positive direction and further enable myself to make peace with them. In the beginning of my practice, it was very unclear to me how Yoga would change me and help me to achieve stillness of mind.
Maybe I still feel confused about how Yoga is going to help me find inner peace, but I feel I stand taller, breathe more smoothly, am more full of energy, and can calmly deal with the disturbances that happen in my life. These are the true benefits of YOGA!
When I started to practice Yoga, I found it actually takes a lot more energy than I thought. When you really dedicate your mind and body to the practice, the soft poses and slow movements make you sweat a lot.
It is important to have Yoga teachers to lead you. They help you to do every pose the right way and to avoid injuring the body. They also guide you through the whole session and remind you to connect with your inner power.
When working on the difficult poses, teachers always guide us by saying breathe, relax and listen to your body. Some days this is effortless and someday it seems like the most difficult task in the world. To experience the things I think I know or I think I’m doing during Yoga practice opens a whole new perspective for me. The effect of each breath, each movement, and each thought start to become obvious. In this practice you cannot lie to yourself, you must face your fears and limitations in order to take your understanding to a deeper level. Some poses seem so easy but I just can’t seem to do them. Through my struggles and eventual surrender I develop the understanding of my body and myself. That understanding makes me feel light, and I can be more understanding and tolerant toward both myself and other people.
Every practice and every pose are always a brand new experience for me. Even in a fixed sequence like Ashtanga, I take the poses one breath at a time listening to what my body tells me. We should always have the attitude of being a beginner. I started to realize, the body changes everyday. We need to practice acceptance and love for ourselves as we change from day to day. This patience is an important part of the practice.
For me, Yoga is a practice that re-connects me and brings me back to my true nature. Yoga gives me a feeling of freedom, freeing my body and my soul at the same time. What works for the body, works for the soul as well. As I feel the openness of my body through every practice, I feel my soul is doing the same.