The journey of Self-discovery
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”
—The Bhagavad Gita
There are different reasons for people to begin practice of yoga. For some it could be recovering from some ailment or reduce stress, increase physical ability, lose weight, get inspired, or simply relax. Most people do not come to yoga, however, thinking they will change their self-perception; yet in most of the cases it happens.
When we start moving our bodies through yoga poses or asanas, they stir up things inside the body, and create new pathways and new habits. During the practice, with the body movements we also focus on the breath, which builds awareness and focuses our attention. At the end of each practice session, we rest in calming down position or Savasana, which gives the body time to relax and the mind a space to unwind.
What happens during the practice is very palpable—stretching and balancing the body, feeling the poses, hearing the breath, and enjoying the relaxed sensation. But the real transformation occurs after the practice and we are gone along with the day. The channels that open during twisting poses give space for more patience, the breath that was slowly inhaled and exhaled during the poses keeps you calm in tough situations, balance postures bring more harmony, patience and calmness. In many ways, the work that happens during the practice also happens in life. Yoga builds flexibility not only in the body, but also in the mind. After stretching the physical limitations, many of the practitioners begin to look at the world in a different way—a world more open to possibility and positivity.
Practice of yoga asanas and pranayama helps to expand the body and mind, which in turn expands our self-awareness. Practitioners find an option to take a look at their life choices with a fresh vision. They begin to see life with a different attitude, marked by love and appreciation for self. This fresh perspective leads some practitioners to new directions, find more gratitude for their bodies, practice experiences etc. Through our journey, we discover the beautiful truth that the practice of yoga and the practice of life are one and the same.
Time of practice is enlightening for most of us, we should liven up and deepen our practice to learn more about ourselves, help the lotus flower bloom out of the mud.
Slow down your breathing, pay attention to the pace. By slowing down the breaths, our nervous system calms and mind settles down slowly, allowing the muddy water to settle, when our mind settles, as a result, you are able to make better decisions.
You may need break or rest in between your practice, depending upon your current body situation you may slow down also. Slow down enough to focus on subtlety and nuance rather than depth. By giving your body what it needs during practice, you take the practice of making clear choices in life also.
There are the practices when you discover what you are really made of because you are giving yourself to be in the present moment. Your practice becomes an offering of self. That may just lead you to find out more about what you desire or need—and the path towards it.