– written by Dina Ghandour
Jivamukti Yoga Certified Teacher, Certified Doula
Many people come to yoga to heal. I would say the healing is usually for a physical injury but sometimes it can be an emotional one too. For me it happened to be the latter. After going through a lot of changes in life like we all do on a regular basis I developed anxiety because I didn't know how to process my feelings, and felt guilty for having them.
It can sometimes feel like there is so much expected of us in life. From what we should wear, how we should act, how we should succeed, to how to be a better mother, partner, or daughter. Yoga teaches us that while we can have preferences, these titles are not who we are. They don't define us, because in fact we are so much more. We've been trained to think they are, but in fact the moment you begin to peel back all those layers is the moment you begin to start to tap into a potential that is not limited by any constructs - physical, social, mental or emotional.
That's where yoga and your practice really begin to expand. Being on our mat means being with our thoughts and ourselves, fully, in all our forms - learning to love them, accept them and work through them. For one hour or more we have nowhere to be but with ourselves, our baggage, our fears and joys. It's a journey inward, an involution to find our true selves every time.
In this way, yoga literally becomes a practice ground for life. By learning to stay focused, calm and balanced while working through challenging poses on the mat, we start to use the same techniques to help us off the mat. Because all challenges are temporary, right?
Aside from the physical practice, the breath is a powerful thing. They say if you start to feel your stress take over, that even 15 seconds with the eyes closed and focusing on the breath can immediately calm the nervous system. The practice is mystical indeed, but now we know its also super scientific.
So whatever brings you to yoga, work through it and then stay with the practice. There's always more to learn about ourselves, and about life.
So tell us - why do YOU yoga?