When I think of yoga I feel all warm and happy inside. It has been a life-changing experience for me and I would really love to share some of the things I have learnt through this healing practice along the way.
1. To sit in silence and LOVE it.
Yoga has introduced me to the concept of not running away from myself :).
2. To be myself.
Once you know who you are, it becomes impossible to ignore yourself and losing yourself is no longer an option. Being authentic is so freeing and so rewarding.
3. How to become an observer.
How to become an observer in my life and understand the difference between who I am (pure awareness) and my mental and emotional state (thoughts, feelings). Taking the time to sit in silence for a few minutes of meditation opens up space to release the stories and roles I play in my mind and my life and notice what is there beyond that, a deeper sense of self, an awareness.
4. How to be present and accept all my feelings, not just the easy ones.
In yoga, one of the founding concepts is gentleness and compassion. We try to become aware of what is, without judgment. The feelings we reject on a conscious level become strong in our subconscious and operate as negative patterns. Observing these heavy feelings and thoughts without judgment allows us to look for the messages hidden in our discomfort and heal the wounds that have created them.
5. Letting go of things that no longer serve me.
As part of my practice, I bring my awareness to my body, observing which parts feel tense and the feelings that come up. Taking a deep breath in and exhaling all the heaviness and suffering. I release the need for perfection, the need to be right, the desire to be appreciated, whatever my ego is fighting for at any given time, in its quest to keep me “safe”. This attention that I offer myself takes but a few moments and can be done anywhere, anytime, on and off the mat. It is incredibly self-healing and opens up space for the things that truly bring me joy. This type of clearing practice can be extended to releasing “stuff” crowding one’s home, office, friendships, schedule… whatever is no longer useful.
6. To breathe in full consciousness.
The breath is incredibly important and we all have our own unique breathing pattern which is often not in line with how we want to feel. Rapid, superficial breathing brings a sense of urgency and fills the body with stress-related hormones. Educating the breath to become deeper and calmer helps us to feel nourished, grounded, safe, at ease with ourselves and our environment. Over time, conscious breathing develops new breathing patterns and a stronger sense of wellbeing.
7. I can achieve much more than I think.
When I acknowledge my limiting beliefs, I can see them for what they are, beliefs not truth. This gives me the freedom to try something new with an open mind and an open heart, allowing my energy to flow freely and life to create through me. The mind can be trained to see beyond its fears and into the world of endless possibilities, both on the mat and in other aspects of life.
8. How to honour my body.
I have gradually moved away from regarding my body as a tool to please others and find external validation. Yoga taught me to see my body as a magical gift that allows me to experience the beauty of life as a human being, as my greatest ally.
9. Self-care should be a daily practice.
It helps us to be grounded and present as the best version of ourselves.
10. Yoga is not strictly a set of postures and breathing techniques.
It is SO MUCH MORE! It is a way of life, offering a set of values and tools that, when put into practice, give us the ability to create and live fuller, happier lives. Yoga empowered me to provide a greater positive contribution to the wellbeing of my family, social circles, and society at large. It taught me to live more consciously and authentically, making better choices for myself and my children, and reminded me of my deep-rooted connection with nature and everything and everyone that exists.