When I started practicing yoga two years ago, I never thought I would learn things about myself and the world around me. Like most people assume, yoga is a fitness activity. But most people don’t realize that yoga is much, much, MUCH, more than stretching or sweating.
During my first year of practice, I learned so many things and grew an un-measurable number. My yoga journey has saved my life, changed my view on so many things and honestly made me a better person. I can’t begin to thank my teachers and my studio for the support and knowledge they have given me.
I wanted to share what I think are the most important things I have learned because I want to show people that yoga isn’t only a physical activity. Yoga is a lifestyle, a community, empowerment, and knowledge. It’s so many things I don’t even think it’s possible to list them all!
But I do I know that yoga has given me strength in so many ways which makes me who I am today. As well as the strength to continue to wander on the earth to learn, see, understand, love and experience everything I am capable of.
The five greatest gifts yoga has given me.
1. To breathe through the hard times.
Breathing is the most beneficial thing we do as humans. Our breath keeps us alive, yes, but it also keeps us centered, calm and focused. One of the Main Principles of Yoga is Pranayama (Breathing) This teaching has helped to keep me grounded and stress-free even in the hardest of times.
2. To take care of my body and look out for my health.
When I started practicing two years ago, I was unaware of how many harmful things I was ingesting. Everything we do affects our body in some way. From The food we eat, the medicine we take, the cosmetics we use and the things we watch on television. We must be aware life’s harmful elements and try to avoid them whenever possible. This even includes having a balanced practice, pushing ourselves to hard or not enough effort can be harmful.
3. To be Open, To the world, to new things, to people, to love and differences.
Through yoga, I have learned that there are many forms of love, and two most important ones are to yourself and your sangha or community. My sangha has been my support and pillar for so many different things. Their love for love and yoga has been a great reminder that if you are open and the true-st, realist person you can be; you will have the most memorable and beneficial experiences.
4. I learned to be Mindful. Of myself, my actions, of the world, and how I live.
Because of my practice, I have become more aware of my surroundings and that everything is connected in some way. I believe that becoming a more mindful person is the most beneficial thing we can do as a human; as there is so much we aren’t aware of and take for granted.
5. Lastly, I learned to be free. Moksha translated from Sanskrit is “The freedom of emotional attachments.” The freedom that moksha has brought me, and continues to bring me with each practice is indescribable. I learned to be free of judgements, pain, negative thoughts and emotions- the list is endless. But what’s not endless, is the amount of chaos and business we experience in our lives; and yoga can be amazingly beneficial for it.
I am extremely blessed and thankful to have gained so many great things from my sangha. I hope you can all gain beneficial and positive knowledge from your new and old studios as well. 🙂
~ Namaste ~
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” – B.K.S. Iyengar