Yoga impacts people’s lives in so many different ways, everyone’s story is unique. I love to hear the transformations it’s created and then I realised this morning I have never really shared my yoga journey fully here. So here it is!
It begun as I wrote last week when I was worn out from trying to “make my business work”. I was always pushing, striving, trying to force things to happen. It was the same in my exercise routine, I loved to run and each year I would book my self on to longer runs to push my distance further. I was always getting chest infections from running in the cold.
Yoga helped me to calm down, to be in the present moment and to just focus on doing things that felt good to me. That was just the beginning though.
I always found I loved the yoga teachers that related life to yoga in their classes. I also found it interesting to understand what each different asana (pose) was doing for me. I fell in love with the classes that caused emotional releases, and the ones that helped me to connect with the silence within myself.
I considered myself spiritual back then but with no fixed belief, I was just open to learning about “the Universe”. I resisted religion, my parents were Christians but I had resisted church for most of my life, only going out of duty at Christmas and Easter. I did have a sense of God as my mother always told me she prayed for me and in difficult times I had a feeling of being looked after but that was it.
The first time I went into an ashram in India I was a little overwhelmed with the devotional chanting, it bring up memories of having to sing in Church. Every morning and night we were guided in to silent meditation and were told to repeat a mantra whilst focusing on either our heart or our third eye.
I am a big believer in gratitude so instead of repeating a Sanskrit mantra as they suggested I simply said THANK YOU. As I repeated it all the things I had to be grateful for in my life would come to mind, it was lovely.
Over the two weeks of living in the Ashram I started to have a sense of believing in God, I listened to the teachings about the Hindu Gods but I felt a strong instinct that there was just one, the God my mother had always spoken of. Unexpectedly my meditation mantra turned into “Thank You God”.
In every Satsang (meeting) people would have an opportunity to select and lead a chant. One morning some started to sing Amazing Grace and it just made me burst into tears.
This was the beginning of my connection with God and my faith, it has continued to deepen ever since. And I love the devotional chanting now, the essence of it, the sense of love you feel through singing and not caring how you sound to others! I believe all religions are speaking of the same God, it’s just different interpretations and we can all learn from each other. Ultimately it’s all about Love.
The next time I visited India I decided to give up eating meat. Firstly because you just don’t eat it there for risk of getting ill, but after 5 months of not eating animals it felt so right for me that I decided to continue it when I returned to the UK, Alongside that I also cut down the amount of alcohol I drink.
The results of this have been amazing; I feel clear headed, self aware, able to connect with my inner silence more, I’ve lost weight and I feel balanced. The times when I do have a drink now I notice it, my sleep is interrupted, I feel emotional and my blood sugar levels are all over the place. I also feel at peace with myself for not eating the animals I love so much, it just feels like the right thing to do.
To summarise yoga has connected me to my soul, to God, to living a healthy conscious life, and above all to Love. Yoga has healed my heart and opened it. Being love is my daily intention, I believe that is what life is all about.
Who knew this would all come from what I first thought of as a way to heal my back and get more toned!
What is your yoga journey? Or maybe you are at the beginning and have a whole adventure in front of you, how exciting!