How did I get started on Yoga?
When I started practicing yoga 25 years ago, I was only interested in keeping my body fit. I didn’t give much thought to how I was doing that. Besides, my interest was limited to just physical training. This even to the point that I would sometimes deliberately show up late to class in order to skip meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises). For me, who was very impatient and very active at that time, these tasks were a complete “waste of time”!
What is the difference between Exercise and Yoga ?
With all due respect to any type of sport in general – and I tried out quite a few – I believe that the “doing” is mostly limited to the outer body. Any type of “work out” will ultimately make you look better, define your muscles, and improve your mood, as long as you practice it!
But in my understanding, the “change and transformation” achieved by any type of exercise, except yoga, only takes place as far as the eye can see, NOT beyond. Why? Because you don’t get in touch with your Self from within. It’s simply not part of any exercise program (at least not the ones I know personally) that before you even start, you are invited to check how you feel, to relax and to calm down for a moment.
I feel like exercise is about achieving a goal at the end of a workout session without being aware of how you did it. Often you have to put in a lot of effort, which leads to pain and discomfort.
In yoga, the first thing you are asked to do is sit still with your body. Before you even begin to “do” anything, it’s about connecting with your “vehicle of life” and checking on it. This seems simple and yet it is so difficult. Every “doing” that happens is directed from the inside out.
How did I find the Yoga practice that suits my needs?
It takes time! And I think that’s the main reason why students quit so easily once they start yoga. It took me years and trying many different types of yoga before I really connected with one. For a long time I wandered around looking for the perfect match. You explore, you invent, you try out, you make it work, only to find that it doesn’t, and so in 2009, after years of searching, I finally found the practice that met my needs: Vijnana Yoga
Why I chose Vijñāna Yoga?
It was in times of despair, that I was introduced to Vijñāna Yoga, also known as the “yoga practice of deeper understanding”. It changed my life forever, or rather transformed it. I never dreamed of becoming a living proof of what you read, “True transformation begins from within.”
Vijñāna Yoga challenges me and encourages me at the same time. It allows me to grow, to know my Self better and better, and demands me to go within and face any demon that crosses my path. I must be open and ready for the truth that lies within me. It takes discipline and dedication to align body, mind, and spirit harmoniously. Vijñāna Yoga teaches me that all three are equally important. With a parental eye, I watch over them.
If you practice yoga, you may know the feeling of struggling in certain postures and one day the struggle seems to be over and the posture unfolds itself to you. It is this perfect balance that I look for on my yoga mat that allows for transformation on and off the mat. Before I perform on the stage of life, I rehearse on the mat, gaining courage and a clear vision to act wisely and change what needs to be adjusted!
For me, transformation involves a lot of fear because I don’t know what’s coming. It is my yoga practice that I hold onto when uncertainty, doubt, and despair arise to connect me to who I truly am – to my purpose in life. I feel, in fact I am quite certain, that the universe has somehow embodied itself in my yoga practice. Countless times I feel rewarded and acknowledged for how I do what I do and who I am, embraced, pushed forward, loved and encouraged to keep going. I listen to my heart, share my passions and follow my dreams.
Looking from the inside – so simple and yet so difficult.