I had to take a break for 4 days (including Moon day). It was interesting to notice that when your body is really ill or in bad condition, you don't want to do anything. I was not frustrated nor sad that I could not go and practice. While I was resting home, somehow my right shoulder blade got hurt and the pain is still there. Anyways, I didn't actually plan to go to practice today but as I got suddenly so much better since yesterday, I thought it's time to go back. I hesitated a bit after the alarm went off but I proceeded. Overall, the practice felt super nice. Anne was a bit worried and told me to take it easy. I did my best not to tire myself out. I got energised (as always) during and after the practice. I really love to be in the LED class. Today.. I don't really want to write about my asana practice. I want to maybe... finally talk about why I practice and teach yoga. This was a question (though it was not imposed) by Anne after one of those LED classes. She reminded us to reflect on why we practice yoga. And I was thinking and writing on my phone that day on the bus on the way home. I couldn't finish because it's actually not a simple question. I couldn't answer in simple and neat sentences.
Today I try to write about my yoga practice.
'Why do I practice yoga?'
Actually this question came up to me several times as I had to write teacher's bio for yoga studios and for my website. If I can write in unlimited word count (haha), I can tell as a story. First, I started asana practice because of my mum. As she's a yoga teacher, it was natural that I was exposed to yoga since young. For me yoga was something therapeutic. I would practice certain asanas to relieve some pains or to get more flexible. When I had time and will, I would follow her classes where the majority of students were ladies in their 50~70s. My exploration into the yoga world (if I can say so) began when I went to India for an internship. My mum told me to visit places like Rishikesh, Pune and Auroville. Before the internship I went to Auroville and after to Rishikesh and Pune. Like many people experience in India, it was also for me a life changing experience. I've tried many types of yoga and meditation that I was not familiar with and have met some inspiring people. When I went back to Australia after the India trip/internship, I immediately got a job in Uganda. So further exploration has stopped there. I would practice alone at home but not as regularly. When I moved to Brussels, Belgium, I established regular asana practice with Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga. With a stressful job and love life (back then it was hard...), yoga was my only haven where I can be just selfish and be myself. I really liked this 'me' time even if I was practicing with a bunch of people around me. I liked to sweat and to breathe with sound and to be surrounded by the energy we were creating through yoga. I really liked being in the group - this group feeling! And I shouldn't forget to mention this, my teachers(Anna, Alejandra and Gemma) were great. If not for these teachers, it would've been really difficult to have a regular practice. In the beginning, you always need some guidance. And my curiosity about Ashtanga yoga grew bigger. I wanted to deepen the practice, know the philosophy more and comprehend the whole sequence. So I was trying different teachers. To be frank, I was a bit intimidated by the traditional way of early morning practice so I was trying places where they offer evening classes. I've met some good teachers but it was not enough and it was also difficult to keep regular practice with the fertility treatment. After many unsuccessful tries, I decided to stop the treatment and took the teachers' training course. In short, I learned a lot but it was still not enough. This was one of the important processes of getting here, now. And I finally went to Anne and Lynne - to the scary world of early morning practice!!! (haha). So how does this story relate to 'why do I practice yoga'?? In short, yoga practice helps me grow, empower myself and stimulates me to keep learning/studying. And it has become part of my life I can't live without. The asana practice taught me to embrace whatever mistakes and faults I've made (or I think I've made) as a part of learning process in life. The asana practice also enabled me to become stronger both physically and mentally. Deep breathing helps me focus and calm the mind. Together with asana practice, reading ancient Hindu literature/philosophy also taught me a lot about mind and the beauty of letting go. I am a bit shy to admit it but since I have regular practice, I fight less with my husband >_< !! The yoga experience as a whole has made me more self-caring, more confident, and more kind (more accepting). So every day with yoga practice, I feel I am growing and am craving for more which makes me feel alive. Maybe craving for more can't be always a good thing but Ashtanga yoga makes me wanting to learn more and know more. It's been such a while since I was so fascinated and passionated about something. This is why I practice yoga. Through yoga I grow, I learn, and I empower myself.
'Why do I teach yoga asana?'
And today another question was added. Why do I teach yoga (asanas)? Anne asked us to be honest with this matter. For me it's simple. 1) Personal or selfish reasons (feelings): teaching gives me positive energy all the time (up till now); I like the feeling of sharing - sharing time, energy and asana knowledge; I like to interact with people that share the same passion/interest - the group feeling 2) Other reasons(motives): I want to let people know that Ashtanga yoga is for everyone; I want many people to benefit (both physically and mentally) from this practice; it would be great if I can be positive influence on someone's life.
At Ashtanga Yoga Brussels on 13/12/19(Fri) from 07:00 to 08:35