Yoga is a path, for many a lifelong journey. In my case it has given me the opportunity to learn continuously about myself. Yoga has showed me how easy it is to get caught up in thinking that the postures are the goal, when what really matters is the process towards those postures and what I find out about myself through it.
In walking this path I have seen how my limits are usually a construct of my own patterns, the many layers of what I think of myself, and how the deconstruction of those patterns is the real yoga practice. For me that has been the actual challenge…
As I have gone through this process I have discovered some tiny hints that have somehow helped me in my practice. Perhaps the most important is to keep reminding me to be honest with myself. It is so easy to be seduced by the postures, by making some sort of progress and feeling pride for doing asanas correctly. But I have noticed how this only results in some sort of rigidity; when eventually I am able to let go of all those ideas, movements, asanas start to flow effortlessly.
Being truthful to myself has also allowed me to be present with the experience, whatever it is. When I am able to experience the experience a sensation of self-acceptance begins to awaken and then my mind starts to relax. I get a sense of openness and sometimes I have these minuscule glimpses that every step creates a possibility, that every asana always reveals something new.
As I see it yoga has everything to do with the flexibility of the mind rather than the body, with the creativity to adapt asanas to your unique anatomy, to understand that strength comes from within, to appreciate that caring for yourself is intimately connected to knowing yourself, and that there is no yoga without patience and discipline.
Yoga can be an empowering experience; it can be the means for a true inner transformation, particularly when we see it as a way to truly open our hearts and minds. . . The challenge, of course, as my beloved teacher would say it to practice yoga outside the mat, in our daily life.