On the occasion of International Yoga Day Coppre invites young yoga practitioner Aashna B who writes about her journey with yoga. From merely looking at it as an exercising routine, she today meditates to calm and focus her mind, heal her body, recuperate and rejuvenate herself through her daily yoga practice.
Like many of us, I started my yoga practice with the intention of incorporating exercise into my daily routine. Getting myself on the mat regularly was hard at first. I was twisting my body into shapes my mind couldn’t fathom. I was forcing myself to do longer, faster, sweatier yoga flows. I was telling myself to go on despite the exhaustion. I was focussing on how far I could push my body.
But eventually, something changed.
I became less obsessed with postures, strength, and flexibility; I became more focused on my breath and state of mind; I started connecting my movements with my breath, and I finally started meditating.
Meditating in gyan mudra. This mudra helps to improve your concentration and sharpen your memory.
I gradually recollected memories which I assumed were long forgotten; I experienced intense emotions; I allowed myself to be gentle, compassionate, and forgiving; and I gave myself permission to heal.
I started allowing myself to be present on the yoga mat; I started listening to what my body needed; I started giving myself permission to relax, recuperate, and rejuvenate; and I started prioritizing physical, mental, and emotional well-being
Anjaneyasana builds up the heat and stretches the lower body. This Asana is practiced in many styles of yoga.
It has been more than a year since I started practicing yoga regularly—and without realizing it, my yoga practice has manifested itself in my life off the yoga mat. I am calmer in challenging situations; I am kinder to myself and others; I remind myself that it is okay to not succeed the first time at something—I need to keep trying to attain my goals; and most importantly, I know that I need to be fully present as often as I can.
Forward fold in baddhakonasana to relax and rejuvenate my body.
So, this World Yoga Day, I invite you to illuminate your room with candles, light incense, float flowers, surround yourself with positive energy, and unroll your yoga mat. I’ll join you there.