This is what yoga means to me:
After spending 14 months studying yoga (900 hours advanced Teacher Training Course), I believe I have discovered what it feels like to be truly alive. My experience with The Yoga Institute, the oldest institute of yoga in the world, changed my life forever.
Without joyfulness and gratitude, life is shallow. Things like happiness, smiling, laughter, good relationships, and gratitude mean more than money ever would. Beyond this, self-love is vital-- though many today neglect it. I believe that self love is the greatest gift I have received since dedicating myself to a life of yoga.
A while ago, I was in a tunnel. I suffered from depression for a year – though I didn’t have a name for it. I didn’t have the awareness or the knowledge to realise the seriousness of how I felt. Until, thankfully, I met someone who would plant the seeds of my awakening. He taught me how to chant mantras in Sanskrit. Being inclined towards Shiva, I requested that he teach me Shiva-specific mantras, and he complied. This helped me overcome my insomnia and other depression-related ailments. After a few months with my spiritual guru, he made me aware that the first yogi of this universe was Shiva himself – that is why Shiva is known as Adiyogi.
I decided to commit to yoga, and started looking for a yoga teacher training course. I asked my parents to finance it, but they refused - and told me to rather look for a course in a more conventional profession. It was very challenging for me, as I believed I had found the purpose of my life and had to convince them so. Eventually, after a few months of discussion, they agreed - but only for a 7-day yoga camp, to satisfy my desire.
"As is your desire so is your will,
as is your will so is your deed,
as is your deed so is your destiny,
and you are what your deep driving desire is".
It was a magical week in my life.
Like most people, I had false preconceptions about yoga – thinking it was only a physical practice, and that the only aim was the impressive poses that look good on Instagram.
However, The Yoga Institute taught us that yoga is a way of life; a lifestyle, an art, a tool that enables you to be aware of your mental and physical actions. Every day I found that I was opening new compartments in my head. I came back to my parents’ house as a new person - completely refreshed, and with clarity about life. I knew what I wanted. And I have pursued it ever since.
What I have learnt about the difference between yoga asana and other physical exercises:
Asana movements can be stress relievers if done with the right attitude.
Dharma (duty) – meditative postures practice
Jnana (right knowledge) – balancing postures and pranayama
Vairagya (detachment) – forward-bending postures
Aishwarya (confidence) – backward-bending postures
Only when we have a complete understanding about such attitudes can we get the full, beautiful results of a practice. Otherwise, it's just physical movements.
I always look forward to sharing my wisdom with all my students and bringing them an authentic knowledge of yoga.
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