Yoga Beyond Asana

It’s been more than a week since I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in India and what a transformation that was. I had time to reflect on myself, on my past and who I have become today. I looked back at when I was in college and realized that my yoga practice then was reflecting who I was at that point. I was competitive, insecure and concerned mostly about the physical appearance – my time on the mat was to literally go beyond my limits. I wanted to do all the Asana poses, I wanted to be the best person in class and call myself a yogi. Was I in tune with my body, mind, emotions or spirit? Definitely not, I was having my own personal issues in my love life and even confused as to what I needed to do with my career. Although my practice was not at all a true essence of yoga, the union of your body with your mind, the practice for your mind, my yoga mat was the place I turn to whenever I have my ups and downs.

I have always been spiritually inclined since I was a little girl, I would love all the stories that my mother and my aunts talks about, the universe and the energy but I stopped thinking about it when I was in my early 20’s. It all came back when I had undergone an Ovarian Surgery at 28, I realized that there is more to this body of mine, my sickness was a sign, a message from my own body telling me, “Hey, it’s time for you to face your issues.”

I watched the video that my doctor showed me of the surgery, I was not at all scared but really curious about what it was that my body was trying to tell me. I turned to Reiki, a form of hands on energy healing and that’s when I came to an understanding of the Chakra system, how each of our body part is responsible taking on certain emotions that we have. I learned to be in tune with my body and started practicing yoga again with awareness. I was aware of when it was my EGO that wanted to perform certain poses, I was aware that I was also doing too much of other vigorous exercises. I spent at least a year or more to find balance in my life. This is a life long journey and now I find some peace in my heart to kind of just go with the flow and being a student of life, a student of yoga.

The sound of AUM and holding a Namaste, being grateful for all the students and teachers that I meet never made so much sense until I understand and face my own personal issues. Until I REALLY connect with my heart and accept this body that I am in, it’s my home, it’s the only thing I have truly got on this Earth, it is what keeps me going. I am learning to go beyond the Asanas because really, Yoga is beyond the asana. It is beyond the handstand, headstand and back to handstand, it is how you feel and what you learned when you are performing these poses.

I have been practicing yoga for many years but I have always had issue doing a wheel pose, during my Teacher Training in one of the classes with Karo, I spoke to my shoulders, I said, “Just let go of all  burden that you have been carrying. Let it go.” I lifted myself up and I could do it – a full wheel pose, a pose that I have been practicing for a decade but could never do it. It was one of the biggest accomplishments in my life, to simply let go and that is what I learned in a wheel.

I am a student of life, of yoga, of AUM. I am learning to find yoga in everything that I do from washing the dishes to driving and even when I am listening to music, I am watching my thoughts and trying my best to identify my ego and my true self. It is not the easiest thing to be aware all the time but that is yoga, to be in the moment, to treat yourself and others with love, to be in your true integrity.

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