Yoga: “a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.” Yoga: “the means to the realization of one’s true nature.” Yoga: A union, an alignment, a path, freedom, liberation, peace, knowledge, a healing…
With yoga, learn to have a different experience - Robert Boustany
Why yoga? What is the initial appeal? Does practicing yoga change our perception of it? What does yoga bring to each individual?
Yoga was my mid-life crisis. I was out of shape, in serious need of a regular physical activity and my body, which had gone through a traumatic accident 20 years earlier, was aching more and more as the years went by. The future was scary. I had to do something!!!
I searched for an activity that would be respectful of my body, challenging, develop my strength, give me flexibility and teach me to relax and manage my stress. I was looking for an activity that would help me heal. And yes, at first my concerns were very physical. In Ashtanga yoga, I found my initial answer, which evolved with Pralaya yoga.
“At various points in the Upanishads, the great sages agree that asana is the first step in the practice of the limbs of yoga, followed by pranayama”
My yoga practice helped me very clearly from the beginning. It released my lower back and almost instantly, I started sleeping better and feeling the pain less. That in itself was sufficient to keep me going. But I also got something more.
I started getting glimpses of the time right after my car accident. I was 16 at the time, and it helped me gain a very different perspective on life. It brought me peace and happiness (I was not a very happy teenager), it gave me balance and stability and mostly it gave me faith (not religious) – in the beauty of life, a feeling that it all turns out ok. It made me humble and aware of the greatness of the universe, the power of life. The beauty and amazement of watching my body heal, the connection with nature and being surrounded by life. I was no longer afraid, I was just happy and it all made sense…
It is only now, with the yoga that I see glimpses of these feelings I had after my accident. It is only now, thanks to the yoga, that I feel I can find myself again.
There is a feeling that the dots are connecting. This peaceful eagerness (if that makes sense). Very slowly I feel my body unlocking, very slowly I feel the breath penetrating, and very slowly I feel my mind more at ease. The journey can be long, it doesn’t matter. In fact, I assume it will never end but it does not matter because it just feels good to be on the road back to my “self”.
“The reasons for our initial involvement may pale and lose importance as we move deeper”
Thanks to yoga, we feel better. We feel stronger. We feel more energized. And then we see the changes around us. We feel more connected and more confident. Our mind is clearer, our stress more manageable. We can go to our center and find our peace, our “self”