How Yoga helped me to find a Greater Spirituality

Eran was adjusting someone across the room. She had a way of looking like a thoughtful seamstress when she made adjustments: an inch let out here, a seam straightened there, and everything would be just right. She might as well have had pins tucked between her lips and a tape measure around her neck. Without missing a beat or looking up she said, “Oh, that’s fear. Try the pose again.”

Fear. I hadn’t even known it was there.”
? Claire Dederer, Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

How Yoga Helped Me

About three years ago my life fell apart.  From my work, to my home, romantic relationships , family and lastly me—all was lost.  I was feeling desperate, angry, frustrated and suicidal.  I couldn’t control what was happening around me.  I was powerless over the changes that would come.  It was here, I discovered yoga.

When I first began I didn’t really like it.   I work out in the gym by running, lifting weights and strength training.  I like to be fast, active and feel momentum.  Yoga to me was too slow and quiet.   Little did I know this is exactly what I so desperately needed.

I didn’t know how to be still.  I wasn’t accustomed to moving my body in slow motion and holding poses, or working my body parts and mind in ways it wasn’t proficient in.   I was easily frustrated by watching others achieve movement I couldn’t.   I was competing.

I learned…

I learned so much about myself just by sticking with Yoga long enough for it to transform me.   All of the following things I did not possess before my Yoga Practice:

  1. How to be still.
  2. How to meditate and channel positive thoughts and energy.
  3. How to breathe into my body and the use of breath.
  4. How to challenge my body and mind to go to places its never gone before.
  5. How to be quiet for over an hour.
  6. How to not compete and to excel at my own pace.
  7. How to be uncomfortable with a process.
  8. How to struggle and then achieve results through practice.
  9. A greater understanding of my inner self.
  10. An inner balance I have never before had.
  11. Utilizing my body to serve me and release toxins.
  12. Pushing my mind, body and spirit to the upmost limits.
  13. Being one with self.
  14. Finding self-acceptance.
  15. Finding or channeling energy.

There were many Saturdays I didn’t want to go.  I would try to talk myself out of attending because I knew it would bring a new challenge.   I forced myself to attend and pursue this practice to become more skilled at it and ME.   As I stayed with Yoga for over year the progress I have made has been incredible.   Not only am I stronger and more lean, but my mind and perspective have changed dramatically.   I have learned that Yoga isn’t just about getting into better shape, but it is really about opening up your heart and your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking.  It is about nourishing your soul.  By utilizing your energy you can actually work your body into positions you never dreamed possible!

I achieve poses now I could not accomplish one year ago.  I feel a flow and alignment during my practice that I didn’t feel when I first began.  I had to learn how to use my body in a way that worked for me.   The most valuable lesson:  Forcing myself to attempt positions that terrify me.   I would try and fail.  I would try again and fail again.  I would try and then make progress, to try again and then succeed!     I don’t believe anyone comes into Yoga practice, no matter the type: hatha, Vinyasa, Power, Hot, Bikram, etc. , and does not find it to be incredibly difficult at first.

A beautiful practice

I have found Yoga to be a beautiful practice I incorporate into my week where I can let go, sweat, breathe, work my body and release my daily fears, frustrations and angst.    It has transformed me as a person.  I am calm, less stressed and more open to the universe around me.

This past Saturday for the first time I achieved a head stand (free standing).  I was so ecstatic!   It wasn’t that I wasn’t strong enough to do it before—it was that the mind set had changed in what I believed I can achieve.   There is a readiness that comes with this practice  that comes over time.

I am glad I didn’t give up on Yoga.   And Yoga never gave up on me.

 

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