Recently, I started diving deeper into my yoga practice. I’ve been practicing by myself for about a year and a half now but I’ve never really been able to get it to a consistent daily practice. It’s tough. You tell yourself, “I’ll do it every day,” but the next day when you wake up, you feel groggy and tired and you tell yourself, “10 more minutes” and then you just forget the whole thing.
I am guilty.
So I finally hunkered down and signed myself up with the closest Ashtanga yoga studio near me. If you’re unfamiliar with Ashtanga yoga, it is a very specific type of yoga that requires intense commitment and daily practice. It is physically very challenging and you sweat profusely. If you’re interested, read here.
I first started Ashtanga yoga because I was at a point in my life where I felt a lot of emotional pain. I didn’t know how to deal with it and I got tired of crying, so every time I felt sad, I would just get up and do yoga instead. I figured it was much more productive and it always made me feel better. I had no idea that Ashtanga yoga was a part of a much bigger philosophy and lifestyle. I simply thought I was working out.
But then something magical would happen everytime I finished. I always felt better, happier, lighter and freer. Unbeknownst to me, I was purifying myself internally through the movements of the poses. Fear, shame, guilt, bitterness, disappointment, all of these negative emotions would come up whenever I practiced and I didn’t know why. Through the practice, I became intimately close with my deepest fears. It made me comfortable with my fears and now they don’t seem so scary anymore.
If you don’t practice yoga, you probably think I sound a little crazy. But without a doubt, yoga has definitely shaped who I am today. I feel bolder and more courageous, and overall a deeper sense of peace.
If you don’t have some type of physical practice already that allows you to challenge yourself every day, I highly recommend you to find one. It can be running, playing basketball, martial arts, or crossfit training, whatever it is, do it consistently. Do not underestimate what a daily practice can do for you, even if it’s just 15 minutes or an hour, the effects will be profound.