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Yogi of February – Rocita Yeh

How long has it been since I've listened to my own inner voice? How long has it been since I faced the deepest part of myself?

At first I just trying to find some sort of exercise to help me lose weight, but since I lack the will power, it never resulted to much. Just as I was about to give up trying, I received a call inviting me to tryout a newly opened yoga studio. I had no idea what yoga was about at the time, but I thought it might help me with my fitness efforts, and with that thought, I stepped into the world of yoga...

The first impression I had about SPACE was a sense of warmth and comfort. I thought what a joyful environment to practice yoga. Once I started taking classes, my initial impression was proved to be true – it offered excellent teachers and beautiful facilities, allowing the busy working urbanites like me to have the perfect setting to practice yoga.

With consistent practice, I slowly begin to gain some understanding of yoga and myself. Even though there was always some slight soreness after each class, but it was the "good" kind, and I always went back to class with a joyful anticipation. At the beginning, I practiced and practiced, with the desire to attain that perfect posture. Then I learned that if I was not ready for a certain pose, the pose just would not happen. It was when things were in place that the pose would naturally be realized. It could not be willed. I also came to understand that the practice had its ups and downs, just like the body, every day was different. No matter where it was at, I had to learn to accept it, because that was just where I was at.

The human heart maybe at times weak, but it can also be unbelievably strong. When it hurts, we may be able to mend it temporarily, but the real injury is often hidden deep within the body. As long as we don't touch it, it may be forgotten. But it is still there; it doesn't have a way to leave, not unless we directly face the pain. That is how I came to face my own deeply concealed emotions. During an asana practice one time, my heart felt a particularly strong reaction, and out poured a tremendous sadness, along with my tears. God, did it? Did my steady breath release this blocked feeling?

What came to my mind at the time was the teacher's constant reminder:"when you start to feel discomfort or tightness in the body, bring your awareness and breath there. Stay with that feeling, the mind will eventually find peace, and then you'll sense the subtle changes happening in the body." So, it was because my body had gone through some sort of subtle transformation that touched upon the hidden sadness. And through that released sorrow, through the pose, and the tears, that I recovered my heart! After that class, I felt a tremendous relief. I always thought of the body as an instrument for us to use, but shouldn't we do something for it as well? It's time we take care of it and be grateful for it...

Through this experience, I learned that the practice of yoga allowed the body to release the negative energies or emotions and turned them into positive forces, allowing the body, mind, spirit to become balanced. Yoga is about integration with our inner selves. Even when we are off the mat, we can incorporate it into our lives. There is no need to come up with any reasons or goals, just be mindful; just be present at this moment. The past cannot be changed and the future cannot be known. Present is all we have. We don't need to force ourselves to be a certain way, just allow it to naturally happen. Follow the heart; face your true self…

On this yogic path, I'm particularly thankful for Justin. I used to felt inadequate about my body when compared to others'. He was the one who allowed me realize that everyone is unique and we should practice according to our own uniqueness. And that we should respect our bodies; that yoga is not a competition. The point is to pay attention to how your body feels, find your edge today and be happy at being in the moment.

Here and now, I am enjoying the feeling of practicing on the mat, the sense of peace and joy.

Here and now, I am listening to my inner wisdom.

Here and now, I am facing the deepest part of myself.

Each month we will honor a SPACE student for his or her passion and dedication to the practice of Yoga. May their stories serve as inspiration to us all!
Asana of the Month
We will focus on a different Asana every month and delve deep into and explore all its inherent possibilities!

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