Over the past year, my yoga practice has grown and evolved to become a huge part of my life. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, busy, or stressed, I can get on the mat and connect to my yoga practice. It is a time where I am completely immersed in the present moment, and the smooth, deep inhale and exhale of the uyaji breath, the ocean breath. As I move through the practice, I remain connected to the breath, my constant reminder that I am here, now. I can be nowhere else. During my yoga practice, there is no space for my mind to wander off into the past or future. It is here, now. The body flows with the breath, riding on the inhale and the exhale. There is something powerful and peaceful about moving the body in harmony with the breath.
The physical practice is all about the breath. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. It is not about how far you can stretch. It is about cultivating that subtle link between the body and mind, strengthening connection to one’s inner self. Every time I practice, I am reminded of why I return to the mat day after day. Physically, yoga makes me feel open, flexible, and strong, and these qualities extend to the emotional and mental bodies. When I surrender to the present moment, I allow myself to focus inward, to realize my inner strength and serenity. Yoga has shown me the path of reflection and self-reliance. Wherever I travel, I seek yoga studios to practice with a wide variety of teachers and students. I take something away from each practice. A new pose, an adjustment, or a fresh perspective. Recently, I’ve started an Ashtanga yoga practice which is helping me go further and push myself past what I thought was possible for myself. Yoga is about breaking boundaries and limiting beliefs about the past. Every time I practice, I learn something new. It also special to share my practice with others. Having a community around me is supportive and loving, a gentle reminder of the bliss and peace yoga can bring to the world.
After the intense, focused effort of the asanas, I lay in Savasana, corpse pose, and let it all go, allowing my body to fully relax and to be supported by the earth. Yoga practice is not something to be attached to. It is not about getting to some final destination, as if the practice ends once I do the fullest expression of the most advances poses. Instead, yoga is about the journey of the practice, of seeing how far I’ve come since I first began. Yoga is a mirror that guides me to look inside, to go deeper and bring the darkness to the light. Yoga is the realization that I am not alone on the path, that I have many people and experiences to guide me along the way, in order to share my love of this path with others.
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi.
Om Peace Peace Peace.
Read more about the Peace Mantra.