Exploring the Depths of Yoga through a Journey of Personal Growth

Yoga practice has been my companion for over a decade now. Although I’ve tried various styles like Aero and Acro yoga (did you know there are over 21 styles of yoga?), it’s the simplicity and depth of traditional yoga that keeps calling me back: Pranayama (breath work), asanas (physical practice), and dhyana (meditation). There are another 5 limbs of yoga, but that’s something for another article. Reflecting on my journey, I realise that when I first started practising, my focus was mainly on mastering the poses, or asanas. But over time, my yoga journey has become about so much more. It’s become a means for me to connect with my inner self and explore the depths of my spirit. One of the most valuable lessons yoga has taught me is humility. Being surrounded by yogis who effortlessly flow through challenging poses could easily lead to feelings of inadequacy. But instead, I’ve learned to look at them with admiration rather than envy. I’ve come to understand that my journey is unique and that every step, no matter how challenging, is a part of my growth. My yoga journey hasn’t been without obstacles. A hip injury once stopped my practice for two years. But through patience and perseverance, guided by the principles of Vairagya and Abhyasa, I’ve not only healed but also regained strength and flexibility. Vairagya, often translated as detachment, refers to the ability to let go of attachments and aversions. It’s about creating a mindset of non-attachment to outcomes, allowing oneself to surrender to the present moment without being overly influenced by desires or fears. Abhyasa, on the other hand, is the practice of perseverance. It’s the commitment to showing up on the mat, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Through the practice, I not only regained my physical strength and flexibility but also cultivated a deeper understanding of myself and my relationship with yoga. I even became a Yoga Teacher and am now sharing the art of yoga with the communities in my local city of Sheffield. My ultimate goal? To maintain this vitality well into my later years – to still be able to bend down and tie my own shoelaces when I’m eighty! A central aspect of yoga is learning to listen to our bodies. It’s about tuning in, observing our sensations, and responding with kindness and awareness. This practice of self-awareness extends beyond the mat, offering valuable insights into our thoughts, emotions, and actions. I am currently in the wonderful process of learning how to understand my emotions and how our bodies communicate their needs to us. Unfortunately, we often become detached from our bodies and emotions, becoming too attached to our thoughts. As OSHO once said, “The world is nothing but your own magnified mind.” It is a deep thought, making me realise that ‘Where there is NO THOUGHT there is no problem’. We create the world around us by speaking and thinking specific words. ‘Where there is NO THOUGHT there is no problem’. I can tell you that one of the most difficult skills to obtain in your personal development journey is the ability to become an observer, observing your own thoughts. See them thoughts as if they were clouds, coming and going… I’m very grateful for the guidance of all of my yoga teachers. Their wisdom and compassion have not only helped me progress in my physical practice but have also nurtured my soul, helping me to create a deeper connection to yoga and to myself. While many instructors are wonderful at guiding physical movements, only a select few have the ability to touch the soul. Through my yoga practice, I’ve experienced this profound transformation – a journey of self-discovery, growth, and inner peace. In essence, yoga practice isn’t just about performing poses; it’s a philosophy, a way of life. It’s a journey of exploration and self-discovery that transcends physical boundaries and opens the door to profound personal growth and connection. 🙏✨ Namaste

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