I first encountered yoga through a small, ubiquitous book about Hatha yoga. It had simple illustrations and easy-to-understand instructions all throughout its clean pages. It was a Christmas gift from my brother given to me when I was about sixteen. “Good choice”, I thought then, “this is going to be useful”. Looking back, I didn’t realize how far-reaching yoga would have in my life. My love affair with the ancient Indian tradition was like a rosebud that blossomed and bloomed over time, sustaining its beauty every time I step on the mat. It has become my sacred space, a space that is always accessible no matter where I am in life.
I have been consistently practicing yoga for about five years now and my journey continues to bring fresh insights and expand my awareness about myself, my environment and others. Yoga has empowered me in a lot of ways. Indeed, asanas are the just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a humungous side to it that one candiscover. Asanas can be vigorous, fast-paced, full of “yang” or forceful push or it can be flowing, restorative and “yin”, allowing one to just take it easy and let go. Each asana carries benefits for a certain part of the body or it may be beneficial overall. Breath control or pranayama is a vital componentin holding and sustaining the poses. It also a means to cleanse the body, literally exhaling what needs to be let go and inhaling what is fresh and life-giving.
Practicing yoga enables me to go beyond my comfort zone, be still amidst discomfort and be fully engaged in the present. When I am fully engaged, the beauty of the present moment is magnified. With this change in mindset, somehow I feel that there’s lot more to be grateful for at the end of the day. Whatever incident that might have been less than ideal is balanced, if not outweighed, by the positive lessons that came out from the incident. This has led me to trust to where I am in my life journey, focusing on what is available at the present moment and not giving away my power by worrying about the future nor dwelling in the past.
I feel that I’m living my life more fully and as to what extent yoga has contributed to that is not half as important as yoga becoming a part of my life. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving, and definitely something that I will be doing for as long as I can.