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Thus, the marathon began of a 12 week online Yoga journey. In the first couple of weeks, I didn’t really get yoga. Hearing my peers speak of amazing experiences inspired me to keep going. I got too used to the instant benefits from my SKY practice; yoga needs to be given its time. The first and foremost factor necessary for any transformation is to pick a habit, trust it and stick to it for a sufficiently long time and to just do it. So, I was happy to wait.
Promise of chocolate ice-cream if I finish the day’s homework got me there! And, I kept with the syllabus diligently. I did enjoy the homework, especially the live sessions bringing a nice ‘back to school’ flavor to the days.
As the weeks went by, things began to shift. After each day’s yoga practice, I felt calm and relaxed, in sync with my body, and grounded. The homework was a nice blend of yoga philosophy and anatomy/physiology, which fed both hemispheres of my brain. And, the weekend live sessions I found very beneficial to interact with my peers, learn from each other, get personalized advice as well as hear from experts on wide ranging topics, thoroughly inspiring me to keep going.
Mind you, the commitment is not a lot. Weekend live sessions are 4-5 hours on Saturday and Sunday. And 10-12 hours of self-study using videos and reading material, which we can complete at our convenience, giving us the flexibility to keep with our daily work/life commitments.
Only after 2 months of consistent practice, did the shifts start becoming more profound. As I started the postures, I began diving into a deep meditative state; a depth of profound stillness & silence dawning in me. And, a deep sense of unconditional love that was static throughout the practice. It was like a thick blanket of silence, love and meditation all enveloping me in a beautiful stasis. I began to experience yoga, not just as an exercise, but as a spiritual practice.
With each day, I started feeling more stable, more centered and more disciplined. For the longest time, I felt like a tall tower standing on jello; my ability to weather storms was poor, with each stressful event taking my emotions on a rollercoaster ride, making me question everything about me. But, after 3 months of consistent practice, I noticed better emotional regulation. I could have a bad set of events, and still keep my cool and navigate the challenges from a grounded & centered space. And, not have to run for emotional safety under long meditations. Life felt okay as it was, and I felt like my foundation began to cement.
And, this was the greatest gift I could have given myself. Having a practice that made me physically and emotionally strong, and kept me strong. The ability to stand still, watch these storms come & lash against me, without losing my footing; that’s something a consistent yoga practice has helped me achieve.
Its just a bunch of postures! Why does transformation have to be so complicated? I finally felt like I understood the 3 tools one needs on the spiritual journey and my toolkit is complete: Yoga, Breathwork and Meditation.
- Yoga keeps the body in shape and the mind strong.
- Breathing helps with deep emotional release, bring the wavering mind into the present moment and to the cusp of meditation.
- And meditation lets you sit idly and enjoy the bliss.