A couple of days ago, I sat down on my mat and got really still. Like more still than my normal meditations (that are already deep, believe me). I was asking myself this question over and over again: “Nila, what does Yoga mean to you?“
And here’s what came out of the silent..
What I’ve learned as a student & teacher
What I’ve learned over the last decade as a practitioner & teacher is that yoga, just like any method of healing, can foster change, transformation, and unimaginable growth, while at the same time taking us back home to the beauty that is already within us. And within you.
I have said before, that western medicine saved my life. Eastern medicine gave me life. And I, I myself made my life. Yoga supported my through all of the stages from darkness to light.
Yoga is not “fixing you,” it’s there to free you from the idea that you are broken and the burden of seeking perfection. You are whole and complete – exactly as you are. Any tool you use to find healing is only there to show you the light that is already in there – in you. ⠀⠀
Yoga for building self-trust
I’ve come to see the practice of yoga as a way to rebuild trust with myself. When we have permission to experiment with movement in a safe place we’re learning how to seek what serves us, not what we think we “should” be doing. Yoga has given me a home, a ritual, an opening into discovery. ⠀
There are only three places you can be in your mind – past, present, or future. Where attention goes, energy flows. When you practice yoga, you have to be in the present in order to keep up with the rhythm of your breath.
Yoga as a tool for self-transformation
⠀As a teacher, I try to stay present with the intention that my job is not to speak over the inner teacher of my students. I’m not interested in how my students move. I’m interested in what moves them to make a move. And when we use the breath to guide the movement, we soften into the trust of our body. The realisation of yoga simply happens when it happens, just like popcorn simply pops when it’s ready. But the tendency for the real realization to arise comes only after the practice when there is stillness within. This is why I want to teach what is inside me, not as it applies to me, to myself, but as it applies to the other. I want to be there when the corn starts to “pop” to witness the effect of the calmness after the storm when stillness transforms into awakening. ⠀⠀
Not everyone can touch their toes – but everyone can do the work. Everyone can look within. To feel. To move. And to breathe. To trust my breath as it guides my movement. And surrender to the yet to be known.
Yoga is not about changing who we are but peeling back the layers to uncover who we’ve always been at our core. So that we can show up for the rest of the world, as we are, together. And we start to realise the wonder of the truth of our oneness.
This, for me, is Yoga: living awareness of who we truly are.
Feel free to share in the comment section below: What does Yoga mean to you?
Ps: If you are looking for a simple, yet effective, tool to cultivate a more nourishing and loving relationship with yourself, feel free to have a look at the GOOD LIFE Journal that I created for people like me and you 🕊