Yoga For Personal Growth – Yoga is about Living!
Yoga has taught me a lot about life and living. My mom (also a yoga teacher) and I often chat jokingly about how being awake in the world is a blessing and a curse. As yoga heightens your awareness of the things, people, actions, and words that are around you as well as what goes on inside of you, it can feel like a double-edged sword.
I was blessed to have my first real yoga experience at an ashram. I was guided by a wonderful teacher with whom I contribute much of my understanding of spirituality and truly living in commune with God (or Universal Consciousness). Fast forward twelve years, I have evolved. Yet my roots are grounded in keeping the spirit in yoga and more recently I have added a passion for functionality and deepened core awareness.
Keeping the understanding that when you come to yoga–real yoga–expect to grow radically, expect to be uncomfortable, expect to be challenged in thought, word, and action. Expect to be confused, frustrated, angry, sad, mad, happy, and in sheer bliss. Why? Because these are all real emotions and experiences we feel each and every day and in order to truly take on yoga—become awake–we must be willing to tap into these areas of our being.
Now don’t get me wrong, I use yoga a lot to help my physical body too. I do yoga to loosen my tight hips and shoulders, when I feel stiff in the morning, or my digestion is acting up because I ate something I shouldn’t. Even within those moments, I still make sure that I am aware—awakening–why I made those choices which put me in that position. Yoga is there to remind me to center and see things as they actually are.
The gift of yoga in each of our lives is truly just that–a gift. I often wonder why someone wouldn’t want to try yoga, but then I am reminded that not all yoga is created equal. Since there is so many varieties and styles of yoga, this can be a confusing conversation. Someone may comment on their practice of hot vinyasa flow and another person, new to yoga, may become fearful of a heated room with strict commands and little variation of poses. While another person enjoys the slow mindful action of hatha yoga or yin yoga, another person may become frazzled at the thought of being in a pose longer than five breaths.
Yoga really is just like life–lots of options and lots of really good benefits. Unfortunately, yoga is also laced with a ton of crap (sorry, it’s true). Because yoga is a business, we must be mindful and learn to sift through the millions of advertisements, apparel and body type expectations, and fused fitness crazes that call themselves yoga, amongst many others.
If you truly are looking for yoga, you will in fact find it. You will stumble upon a teacher, a class, a book, or a friend that helps guide you towards a better version of yourself. As a teacher, a yogi, and just another simple person moving through life, that ultimately is how I gauge my life. Am I a better version of myself from yesterday? from five weeks ago? from five years ago? My practice does show me a lot of ugliness, but it also shows me how to turn that ugliness into beauty. And, I wish that for you.
Many blessing along the way.