I have always practiced yoga, yet I never took it seriously.
Throughout the years, I have tried pretty much every style of yoga available out there, even back when it wasn’t as popular as it is today. In those days, for some reason that only the Soul knows, I had this secret desire to become a yoga teacher. But my life then looked far from that. I was too busy and too in love with my corporate life in New York City.
Fast forward to a few years later, where I find myself emotionally, morally, and financially bankrupt. I was laid-off, lost my house, and broke up with my partner of eight-years.
Needless to say, my health was suffered too. Unable to find a diagnosis, the doctors prescribed six or seven medications to me, which only led to more health problems.
Sometimes, finding yourself at a dead end helps you realize which way you need to create the life you have been dreaming of. It pushes us to look at our life in a way—and from a perspective—that we didn’t have the courage to recognize before. In my case, I had no other option. Cornered, I started asking myself how would I find the strength to keep going, to rebuild my life, to face all the challenges I knew were ahead, to remain strong with faith and determination in the eye of the hurricane. That is, until one day when I found myself surrendering to life on my yoga mat. This time, I was serious about it. So serious that I immersed myself into a rigorous Yoga Teachers Training. At the same, I decided to change my diet completely and stopped taking all the medications that were prescribed to me. I had no assurance that anything would work out for me, but I was letting myself fall with complete trust and abandon into God’s arms; I was allowing my intuition be my GPS.
Letting Go to Save Myself
Was I scared? I was terrified. Did I have a plan? I was completely clueless. But there was one thing that I knew for certain: I had to keep going back to my mat. There was something in that space that I couldn’t define or name, but it was powerful and healing; it felt like home.
There were times, in the middle of a pose, that I would breakdown in torrents of tears. But I would let myself be, breathing into it, feeling the pieces of the old self shatter into pieces.
Finding Myself on the Mat
In the midst of all that tourmaline of losing the house, the car, the credit cards, the relationship I once thought would last forever, severely struggling with my health, and declaring bankruptcy, I did become a Yoga Teacher. But most importantly, I became a student for life. Yoga is a lifestyle, a discipline, a practice. You bring your life to your mat.
The way you practice is the way you live your life.
Are you pushing to get it done certain way? Are you breathing? What happens when you fall off a pose? Do you allow yourself to be? Do you accept yourself unconditionally whether you were able to bend forward all the way or not? How much time do you spend comparing yourself to others instead of diving inwards?
Yoga Saved My Life
Yoga showed me the way home, and healed me both inside and out. It made a stronger, happier person. With Yoga I experienced the power of now. The power of loving, honoring, respecting and taking care of myself. Yoga freed my inner child. Opened my heart, creative channels, sensuality, and femininity. Yoga taught me equanimity, showed me how to truly let go, release control, surrender to the now, forgive, be, breathe, and trust…especially when things truly fall apart.
As we, yogis, say—there’s a reason why we keep coming back to the mat every single day. Not because we want to twist like a pretzel, but because it helps to heal, to unveil the fears and judgments that prevent us from becoming our true selves. As you move deeper into your practice, and as your body opens up, you will move deeper into self-love and acceptance, forgiveness and compassion, releasing everything that not longer serves you.
And that is why we call it a practice. The only thing you need to do is show up. The rest will unravel, reveal, itself.
Do you practice yoga? Share your experiences with us on Twitter or in the comment section below!