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The Path Was Set!

My first experience with Yoga was when a friend and I decided to attend a 90-minute Bikrims class. We signed up for the 2-week trial, which was short lived on my end. After completing the first session I collapsed on the floor praying that I didn’t die of heat stroke.

I was sure this would be my first and last experience with what felt like self inflicted corporal punishment. Years went by and traveled and worked around North America: Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, as well as Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Vancouver. I took on a party mentaily in this period of time.

As the years went by and the trauma faded, another friend (who had become very serious about her Yoga disciplines) invited me to join her on yet another hot yoga session.

Against my better judgment, I agreed when she assured me that it was a more relaxed environment than my previous Bikrims experience. Living as an early 20’s something my Friday nights were rarely mellow nights; heavy drinking and late to bed.

This Friday Was No Exception

Not taking into consideration the tragedy of the last dabble with Yoga I underestimated the detox that was about to come in the 90 minutes to follow at 8 am the next morning. I “powered” through the class, switching from catching my balance, awkwardly attempting impossible poses, and watching my friend (who unknown to me was evidently an Olympic gymnast) gracefully and flexibly execute the most impossible posses – what Yoga was to me simply put was HARD.

Vowing in my mind, I would never do this again something strange happened. After the class was over, yes, over…I felt good? I felt energized and my previously stiff body was lighter, with an almost airy feeling.

Yoga then changed from HARD to HARD, BUT WORTH IT? In the past, I’ve always begrudgingly dragged myself to the gym.

So I figured why not give yoga a chance, couldn’t be worse. After a few more sessions a subtle change was beginning to take place. I cautiously admitted to myself that I was beginning to enjoy the yoga experience. With my friends encouragement I joined her more regularly.

This demanded a change in my daily routine. Ensuring an earlier bedtime, my next classes were enjoyable and internally peaceful and emotionally settling. I then committed to a 30-day challenge the studio was offering, and I completed it!

During the 30-day challenge I started to experience some of the things I would come to define as Yoga today. Yoga was not just a physical practice. The emotional and spiritual component to yoga took me by surprise. Initially, it wasn’t something I was seeking or expecting. At first, I was unwilling to deal with it so I viewed yoga from a solely physical perspective.

Fast Forward To My Present Day

As I matured, I grew in my desire to know myself, to face and overcome the disappointing and painful experiences of life and to take responsibility for my own peace of mind and emotional wellbeing. I found in yoga a discipline, which enabled me to face and overcome my internal struggles.

I was now ready to explore how Yoga could support and heal me in my journey. It’s not only a physical and emotional practice; it is a way of life and a part of which human beings are naturally.

Yoga is necessary body engineering, and a deeply spiritual practice, which enables a person to connect and be spatially open to the source of everything. Through yoga I have discovered that peace of mind and a genuine sense of happiness are found within one’s self.

The more one practices the more challenging Yoga can become as more layers surface and expose deep emotions hidden in your psyche, joints, and cell tissues. The release of these emotions can bring up past hurts, limiting beliefs, and physical pains that we were not conscious of before.

However, I’ve discovered that this is all part of the healing and life transforming process. While there are moments of bliss and connectedness the opposite is true too. Discomfort can be triggered depending on how deep you are willing to allow yourself to go within.

I am looking at taking a yoga teacher training (ytt) now. In retrospect it seems as though my idea of what is Yoga may have changed, but the definition remains the same, although this is no longer a question.