There’s so much to say here to explore what Yoga means to me at this stage of my journey. These are just a few insights. Maybe these thoughts light up something in you...
For me, Yoga is the opportunity for freedom that humans crave. Being on this planet in human form is super challenging at times. More and more it feels like the conditions of modern life hinder our sense of oneness, union and connection to love. Instead I see the majority of society which runs on the illusions of separation, fear and competition. Yoga is one of the pathways to consciousness which can enable us to uncover our connection to the entire Universe and to love itself.
I have been practising Yoga regularly for around five years. Before this though, I initially wanted to ‘do Yoga’ so I could look cool if I did a handstand or some very complex looking asana which is in no way functional to everyday life as a human. I wanted to become a person who was ‘chill’ because I liked that label. But this preference to be known as a ‘chilled out person’ was a nod toward the truth that on the inside I was in pain. I was not ‘chill’. So partly my ego chose Yoga, and partly it was a whisper of my soul.
My first experiences of practising asanas felt frustrating, pointless and way too much like hard work. I wanted a ‘yoga body’ which in my perception was toned, skinny and with no hint of a curve. I did not have this body and I perceived, through the goggles of wrong mindedness and Body Dismoprphia, that the rest of the class did. I judged myself as not good enough. I Felt sad about this and did not go back to Yoga for a long time.
In my years of steadily building up a practice, yoga has meant many things to me. Here’s a list:
Pain relief, recovery from Anorexia, physical strength, mental clarity, peace, connecting with me body and not just my busy mind, a vital key in staying sober from drugs, a safe space to move past trauma through my body, challenge, frustration, comparisons, recovery from panic attacks, body acceptance, improved body image, groundedness, breaking unhelpful habits, being kinder to myself and others, mindfulness, presence, equanimity, somewhere I could go in the evenings instead of a pub.
I hope you find Yoga as beneficial as I have. I notice new benefits very regularly, all from steadily and patiently building a practice. There is no rush.
Enjoy your practice.