From Self-Destruction to Self-Care: The Power of Yoga
During a recent yoga teacher training that I attended, we were asked to journal on the question, 'how has yoga impacted your life?'
It's a simple question but a very long answer. It really wasn't until I started to journal, that I realised just how much yoga has enveloped my whole life, so that now, it is my entire lifestyle and belief system – it is filtered into every aspect of my life and continues to evolve each day.
I have witnessed powerful and profound effects on my physical, mental, energetic and emotional bodies, it has completely changed all aspects of my being and has been, and continues to be, my source of self-healing.
I could write an entire book about how yoga has impacted my everyday life, but here are just 3 ways that yoga has really helped me heal.
From Self-Destruction to Self-Care
Prior to finding a connection to yoga, my mindset would be an uncomfortable and destructive balance of tamastic and rajastic thoughts and behaviour. I had little respect for my physical state, intentionally abusing and toxifying my body and mind, with disregard.
Through the positive effects of yoga, meditation and mindfulness my thoughts, attitude and behaviours towards my physical being have shifted to self-care, love and appreciation. I prioritise nurturing and cleansing my body, healthy boundaries and fully respecting myself. The consequences of this on an emotional, mental and energetic level have been profound, and it is something that I support and greatly encourage each of my students to focus on, through sharing my simple but powerful techniques and tools for self-care.
From Doubt to Trust
Doubt used to be something that was predominant in my daily life. Self-doubt with regards to my decisions, my opinions, my beliefs, my body, my strength. Doubt in others, disbelieving, not trusting the actions, emotions and words of others. Doubt in the universe and the world, leaving me disconnected spiritually, to the natural world and humanity.
The practices of yoga, particularly mediation and spiritual practices, have led me to a place of trust.
Trust that I am here for a purpose. Trust that everything is ok, regardless of my current situation. Trust in other beings. Trust in the universe; and the most importantly, I feel, trust in myself, believing in myself and my abilities, believing I will make the most healthy decisions. Trust in my own beliefs and opinions regardless of others’ and trust in my emotions and intuition – something that prior to yoga, I was completely unaware of.
From Pushing to Patience
I used to be one of those yogis who was all about the strong, flexible yoga poses. My yoga practice was purely physical and everything else was just a bonus (or occasionally a hindrance that prevented me from doing more physical poses).
I would push my body far beyond it’s boundaries, ignore the messages that my body would send me and force my body into poses that it just wasn’t ready for - physically or energetically.
After delving into more gentle forms of yoga, a result of injuries due to forcing and pushing, I explored meditation and discovered yoga philosophy. This was life changing for me.
I became more patient with myself. I found a way to be gentle with my body and strong in my mind. The physical practice became a way to access my spiritual practice. Overall, my yoga practice became my lifestyle and believe system.
So, it's a simple question but a long, insightful answer. "How has yoga impacted your life?"
[Hit the comment box below to let me know]