We go through life backwards. We think that children aren’t intelligent and that us adults are superior. We believe that we know better because we have experience. But have you ever watched a child? A child who is free from conditioning and is just living. They are in the present moment - playing. They are in the present moment - fearless. They are in the present moment - feeling and expressing their feelings. They are in the present moment - in tune with nature. They are in the present moment - in tune with their bodies. They may not know how to express that they are hungry or tired but they feel the discomfort and show it.
As they grow older they learn how to fit in according to their society and culture. They start to forget to be present. They start to forget to listen to themselves and look outside themselves for answers. They question their intuition and their gut. They lose their connection to nature and to themselves.
And suddenly they’re 18 or 25 or 38 or 63 and are wondering ‘who am I?’ ‘What do I want from life? Where am I headed? They feel lost, confused, overwhelmed, trapped.
At least this was my story.
At 26 I left my ‘safe’ job as a primary school teacher to start my own business. I wanted to live life on my own terms and come back home to myself. I went to India to do my yoga teacher training unbeknown to me that it would change everything. I would learn that yoga has eight limbs, I would learn how to take yoga off the mat, I would learn that yoga is a science, an art, a philosophy, a way of life. I would begin to read the yoga sutras for fun and delve deeper into the psychology, I would start chanting mantras, I would start studying the Bhagavad Gita and other great Vedantic texts, I would be proud of where I came from, who I was and who I was becoming.
Six ways yoga changed my life:
Yoga taught me to be present - yoga brings us into the present moment, whether through asanas, pranayama or meditation. Through regular practice we learn to take this presence off the mat and into our everyday lives.
Yoga taught me to be grateful - during my yoga teacher training we would end each asana class with our hands at heart centre, heads bowed in gratitude and give thanks to our mats for supporting us through our practice, to Patanjali for the yoga sutras and to Maa Gangaji which was just a stone's throw away. This is something that I have continued in the classes I teach as well as trying to live in a state of gratitude off the mat.
Yoga taught me to surrender - we all live amongst this illusion of control. Yoga showed me that it is but an illusion. All we can control is our words and actions - the impact and outcome of these is out of our hands. So I speak with intention, I do what I believe to be the right action and then I surrender to the results, to the fruits of my labour, having full faith that what is meant to be will be, that the universe has my back, that everything will work out.
Yoga taught me that everything I need already exists within me - through studying the eight limbs of yoga I truly understood the meaning of this phrase and have learnt to embody it. You can learn more about yogic philosophy with me here.
Yoga reconnected me to my body and my intuition - in a world that teaches us to look outside ourselves for the answers, to rely on our logical mind only, to live from the neck up, being connected to your body and your intuition is a rare thing. Through the practice of yoga we can reconnect to both of these and learn just how powerful they are.
Yoga made me feel proud to be Indian - I spent much of my life rejecting my roots and my culture. Not wanting to be the odd one out. Petrified by what others may think of me. But after reconnecting with my culture when I was at University and then digging deeper and studying Yogic and Vedantic texts during my yoga teacher training and beyond I am proud of where I come from, of my lineage, of my roots.
Explore yoga and yogic philosophy with me one-to-one and allow yoga to change your life. Learn more here.
With love and gratitude,