Its been almost a decade since I made a commitment to my yoga mat and created an ever-rewarding, adventurous relationship that is truly for eternity.
I recently published an article about my healing journey with Yoga on a German Yogablog that you can check here. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj which means to bind, to join to attach -and also directing one´s attention. Another meaning is union – and the common meaning of Yoga is the union of body, mind and spirit, of the Self with the Divine and All That Is. For me, Yoga is life.
Yoga in its practice of asana, pranayama, meditation and bits and bobs of Yoga philosophy (I could dive deeper into the Patanjali’s and others I admit), is a staple in my Heal´s Kitchen. I need my daily sadhana, my spiritual practice. It is thanks to the loving commitment to that time that I am living the way I am today. And as a big plus, it makes me a more or less bearable person for the sake of the people around me. Meditation gives me unshakeable moments of peace and stillness while the wheel of life is spinning in its infinite loops. The breathing in pranayama reminds me to breathe all in what life has to offer, and at the same time love it all out and to let it go. And last but not least, asana has taught me to stretch beyond my physical limitations, shifted and shaped my body and allows me to arrive into my human vehicle every day.
More importantly, yoga serves as my mirror. On the mat, my inner life is constantly being reflected back at me. Mind and body are part of that interrelated system that we are made up – so no wonder that all my inner stirrings, as well as the joy and ease are visible in my asana practice. And on the other hand, when I am feeling down and don`t even want to lift a finger, a few minutes on the mat energize and revitalise me. Asana is the precious time of connecting with my body and listen to it through its movements, stiffness, aches and flows. and I betcha its got a whole lot to tell!
In its essence, asana means posture. Patanjali says “Sthirasukhamasanam” – that posture which is steady and comfortable is asana. In a more literal meaning, asana also means comfortable seat. And so it is. Asana enables us to stay comfortably seated within ourselves,centered in our very own power. Comfort and steadiness are inner states of being, too. Asana takes us through its different postures on a journey through both familiar and unfamiliar terrain. Each pose expands our consciousness and makes clear that asana is more than a simple stretch. The beauty of asana is that this expansion can happen in plentiful ways. So here we go with my deepest gratitude to a smooth vinyasa flow, that allows my body and breath to express and expand in its playfulness. Thanks to Ashtanga for showing me how strong my body strong is and that life definitely flows easier when breath and movement are linking together. Hooray for Hatha for reminding me that growth takes place in in stillness and steadiness, too.
Thanks to Yin for stretching me beyond my perceived limitations. The deeper we feel, the deeper we heal – thank you for helping me to find comfort in the newness. And bless the restorative poses in which I can let everything be, let it go and let it flow again in the safest and most comfortable way ever and rest in sweet surrender. Infinite gratitude for the celebration of my body. Party on
You are there for me when I fall and rise up again – thank you dearest mat.
“In the beginning, you have to make room for Yoga in your daily life and give it the place it deserves. But after some time, Yoga itself will pull you up by your hair and make you do it.”
Donna Farhi: Yoga, Mind, Body&Spirit: A return to Wholeness
B.K.S Iyengar: Light On Yoga
Vanda Scaravalli: Awakening the Spine
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali