Know the self through connection
When I was asked to write about my yoga journey, I thought back to when I started to love yoga. Actually, before I even started practicing yoga, I already had a particular affinity about expression through the body. I took dance lessons after graduating from junior high and I fell in love with dancing. Thinking back now, that was the turning point when my life became challenging and tough. It was a period of my life filled with setbacks and pain. It made me questioned myself and I was filled with negative thoughts and feelings. Consequently, I was full of doubt about life and was always wondering why I couldn’t enjoy my life, why I couldn’t love myself and so on. Now when I think back, I’m very glad that I went through this period of frustration, because the experience made me more aware of life now.
I took my first yoga class in 2006 and discovered that the practice allowed my mind to rest. The focus that required on the breath and the body during the whole class actually let my chaotic mind found a momentary peace. I felt unbelievably light, as if I found an exit that enabled me to breathe freely.
In classes, teachers always instructed to open your inner eyes to connect with your inner self. This notion was like a bridge that connected to my long lost self, as if I found a key that opened the door to an inner world, and when I went in, I saw a messy garden that has not been cared for in a long time, saw my own past fears that I didn’t want to face. But the interesting thing is when I opened this door, when I started to be more aware, started to be more connected through the asana practice, with the focus on each breath and movement, I was able to have the courage to find the power and the direction to clear out the messy garbage in my inner garden, to allow the soil to be nourished by water, to have the inner energy to start to understand how to get along with myself, to face myself.
Through my practice, I learned to understand that it is acceptable to be imperfect; it is all right to be soft and weak. Every time when I stand on the mat, I learn to surrender and be grateful through the connection of each breath and movement. With this connection, I can keep on nourishing myself, allowing my heart to grow and to be more complete.
On this path of studying yoga, I would like to thank Stephen Thomas, Felina, Naichin, Desiree and Michelle C. and all the other teachers who I have ever studied with. It was because of your teachings that I came to understand how not to be attached and have the courage to face each difficult situation. I hope I will continue to be fruitful on this path of yoga and I will also continue to share this joy with everyone.