Yoga and Me

Last weekend I attended a weekend workshop with Kino MacGregor. Kino is an amazing world known Ashtanga teacher and I was very excited to learn from her. Although the weekend was mainly focused on Asana and technique, there was some time to discuss very briefly some of the more subtle and philosophical aspects of Yoga. At some point one of the attendees asked about the meaning of the word Yoga to which Kino responded something like this: "Yoga is a very broad concept and in India alone there are many different schools of yoga without counting the numerous ones recently created in the west. We could spend the day talking about yoga means union, or the Sutras say this or The Gita says that, but I would invite you to ask yourself what Yoga means to you..." Kino's reply was excellent. It left me wondering and gave inspiration for this post. In the most strict and brief manner, Yoga means union. However we must remember that translating Sanskrit is never that easy and, depending on the context, Yoga can translate as connect(ion), to add, contact, method, application or performance. Going back to Kino's question, what really made me think, and inspired this post. What does Yoga mean to me? Again, there is not a simple answer to this question. As a practitioner the first thing that yoga did for me was returning me that sense of possibility. Knowing that everything is achievable just by trying and then just discovering that the beauty is in the trying not the achieving. Yoga taught me that it is ok to be me however I am, as it is not where you are in your practice that matters but that you practice. Yoga taught me that life is great. Even in the most difficult moments life is great just as there are difficult asanas or moments in the practice. As I dived deeper into my practice, transformation started to manifest. First, in my body, but most importantly and surprising to me  in my relations. As I became more compassionate with my body and my Self, I became more compassionate, patient and understanding towards others. Yoga let me empty my Self with each exhale so that I could receive Love Happiness and blessings with the next inhale. At some point I started inhaling more Love and Happiness than I could contain. That's when I realised I had to teach.…

About purpose and inspiration…

A good friend asked me tonight: “So, what is your purpose with this website of yours. How do you intend to help the community?” At first I thought it was a great question (or two) just because I was thinking of writing tonight but I was lacking inspiration. As a yogi, the first that comes to mind is one of the principles taught in the Bhagavad Gita 12.12. In this chapter Krishna explains Bhakti Yoga (Yoga through the path of devotion and selfless action) to Arjuna:   “śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaḿ viśiṣyate dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas tyāgāc chāntir anantaram   SYNONYMS śreyaḥ — better; hi — certainly; jñānam — knowledge; abhyāsāt — than practice; jñānāt — than knowledge; dhyānam — meditation; viśiṣyate — is considered better; dhyānāt — than meditation; karma-phala-tyāgaḥ — renunciation of the results of fruitive action; tyāgāt — by such renunciation; śāntiḥ — peace; anantaram — thereafter. TRANSLATION If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.” [1]   Being completely honest, as much as I would like to consider myself completely selfless and altruistic in my actions. I think I am far from there. However, as I told my friend tonight I try really hard every second of my life. Even if I fail 99% of the time, it is ok; I’ll just keep on trying. And that is the point of the practice of Yoga. I always wanted to write a blog. I really don’t know why. I don’t have a purpose or an agenda. After my first post, I wrote this on Facebook as I shared the link to this outlet trying to get my friends to read me, like me, share me etcetera: “I always wanted to blog and finally today I found the courage” This was a comment in response to that from another beautiful friend of mine: “…I think you always had a courage but you didn't have a topic...” Maybe she’s right. Or maybe I was trying to look for that courage, that topic or that inspiration and that’s why I never started before. Maybe this is one more of the gifts yoga has given me. The night I started this site I was overwhelmed with beauty…

There’s always a first time…

About two years ago, I took what I though was the biggest hit I had ever taken (This is probably subject for another post). Little did I know it was actually the biggest blessing I have received. When I was at my  lowest point, Yoga came and saved my life. Then, it changed it. And, eventually, slowly slowly, it became my life. Last year, I realized it would be a sin not to share with the world all the Love and Happiness that flows through me because of Yoga and decided I wanted to teach my beautiful practice. Again, little did I know this decision had already been taken long before I could even imagine. It has not been an easy path since. It definitely has had some beautiful and magic moments, but also others full of doubt and fear. But if there’s anything Yoga has taught me is to surrender, trust and let Love guide. Tonight I taught my first class in a real studio. It is just a small step in a long path, but  a very meaningful one to me. I'm sure it was not the best class but it was special and honest. At some point when fear and doubt started to take the best of me. I surrendered again, thanked for the opportunity to teach, asked Love for inspiration and just let Love speak through me. I taught from deep within my heart. It was beautiful to feel the presence of some of my own teachers and fellow practitioners help me get through in those moments of nervousness and doubt. I can only hope that the students left with a little of what I felt tonight and that I was able to touch their hearts and inspire them in some way. To close the night off, after everyone had left the studio I sat in front of the altar to integrate my experience and thank. After a couple of minutes I was crying like a five years old girl. It was humbling and beautiful. Love and Happiness, Mannu