At the beginning I had some ideas about what yoga was. However, I had never imagined the power that yoga could have in my life, until I did my first class. It was in the campus of a university (UCV) in Caracas, and it was indoors.
The movements that I had to do during the class were quickly and strange at the same time. I had practised Olympic gymnastics when I was a child (9-13 years old); I was preparing myself to be an Olympic gymnast (which I couldn't achieve for some stupid reasons); but this was different. Yoga is not about flexibility by its own. You have to encounter yourself with a lot of things in your way while you're doing it; things that maybe you didn't know were there appear and try to distract you. Starting with your thoughts... Then, you may need to use the 4 pillars: Strength, Equilibrium, Flexibility and Concentration at the same time to successfully do the exercises that the teacher leads. However, it´s not just about reaching the most difficult position that yoga has. It´s about reaching yourself during the process.
After my first class, I felt relief and in good shape at the same time; perhaps a little challenged. There was a lot to improve and I found myself very motivated about it. Then I started to assist to yoga classes twice a week, in a park that was near my job location. I used to get out of my job at 5pm and the classes started at 5:30pm, so I had to hurry up those days to arrive early to the practice. So I did and my entire world started to change. And when I say "entire world" I'm referring to my entire inner world. I got in contact more than ever with my inner-self.
|You may understand why I was interested on that, if you have read the post "My 25 years of questions about life"|
Now that I have about 4 years practising yoga (not always in a group, but doing it by my own); I have noticed that being in a difficult yoga position (fighting with your own thoughts and trying to harmonically maintain your breath and the 4 pillars of yoga) is like being in a difficult moment of your life, fighting with people or situations, fighting with your own thoughts, without consciousness of it. However, when you're doing yoga, you realize that, and your practice become a way of mind-training through your body. So when you're doing yoga, you're preparing yourself to face your problems in a peaceful way, using your breath and the benefits learned from the practice of this ancestral activity, which many people start to do because is fancy and popular, but end changing their inner-self.
Yoga is not just one activity; it's a way of life. So remember, when you're passing through a difficult moment in your life, you can choose to put in practice your yoga learning, or let you down over and over without knowing why.
Summarizing: We have our entire life to practice the 4 pillars of yoga (in real life) without even doing yoga classes; perhaps you could use your own technique to peacefully face your problems; you could forget about it and avoid any related practice; or maybe you'd prefer learning in real life without trying this kind of things out. In my case, I've chosen yoga as my personal training!