Six days a week, I clear out the vacant space on the left side of my bedroom at 8:00 AM. I set up my yoga mat directly before the hand-crafted dream catcher hanging on my wall. I place my hands in prayer and bow my head. I begin my yoga practice and finish it off with a Ganesha maha mantra.
2015 is the year of the yogis, or at least it seems like it. Women everywhere are walking around in galaxy leggings, chatting about their juice diets, rolling out their yoga mats for their Saturday morning sessions…
When did all this start happening?
I’ve been doing yoga for about four years now, but I haven’t been really doing yoga until this past April. I joined the practice to alleviate all the stress I was going through in my life and boy, did it work. With graduation approaching, a social life to maintain, career plans to make, financial debts to pay, and love to worry about, I found myself freaking—and I mean big time.
In the first three years I began my yoga practice, I had no comprehension of half the crap these instructors were talking about. What’s a sun salutation? Can’t I just breathe normally? Om namah what? The lingo was all new to me and I didn’t give a damn about any of it. All I knew was that I got to wear cutesy, tight outfits, maybe gain some flexibility and post about it on social media. Off to my yoga sesh! #healthyliving.
This past April, I really found myself. I immersed myself in all that is yoga: the lifestyle, the asanas (poses), meditation, etc. I flooded my mind with yoga documentaries and readings. When and where did it start? What’s the difference between ashtanga and hatha yoga? Who is B.K.S. Iyengar (may he rest in peace)?
A former party girl who’d race to see if she could down her vodka tonic before the free drinks ended at midnight, I found myself gradually straying from the club scene. Now, don’t get me wrong: becoming a yoga practitioner doesn’t mean you have to stop dancing or drinking. I still get down with the jiggy.
But I’ve learned to discipline myself in respect to moderation. Self-respect. Patience. Love. I’ve become less anxious and more understanding. Less materialistic and more grateful. I’m slowly, but surely, uncovering the Truth behind living a happy life in harmony with all other beings.
There is so much that yoga has to offer. Half the people who claim to do yoga have no idea what Namaste means.
Maybe someday, we will all learn to bow down to each other. To acknowledge the beautiful souls we possess, to witness that Divine inner spark that lies within our hearts. This is a journey, not a destination. Sure, you can do that pretzel-bendy thing, but in the end, what does it all mean?
I challenge you to take on that journey. To learn more about the practice. Don’t just scratch the surface; delve deep within yourself. As for me…
I bow to you. Namaste.