Yoga practice in Iloilo. At last I am writing about something personal that I am very passionate about. It’s been a long time since I have written something from the heart so I hope you guys would bear with the scattered thoughts and clumsy words. Here it goes. Why do yoga Jane? What made you decide to practice yoga? Why not just go to the gym, exercise, jog or do aerobics? Well honestly I have tried all of that but none of them captured my interest for long. Sorry but if I am not really into what I’m doing I tend to ignore it and deliberately forget about it. And all of them had temporary effects on my body. Take note I only said body. I need something more than that. I need to do something that I am very passionate about and that does not only benefit my body but influences my mind, psych – my whole well-being.
So what is yoga? In contrast to the pursuit of your desire as a means to happiness, the purpose of yoga is aimed at the monumental, life-changing discovery of who and what you truly are. This is how yoga works; this is how yoga makes me feel great. Yoga is helping me discover and experience the truth, my truth – which I am discovering, is goodness. That my basic nature is happiness. Yoga truly complements my beliefs.
Have you noticed that it is so easy to lose touch with who we are, that core essence with which we were born between home, work and all of the demands and stresses in between? Because of all the activities we do it sometimes feels like the “I” inside is simply the result of the things we do or the effects those things have on our mind, body and spirit. We only identify with our present conditions. For example, it’s like “sad” or “stressed” is actually a name – Hi! I’m Stressed. What’s your name? Get it? So as a result our identities shift with our moods and conditions. However in truth, we are not the conditions we experience or the things we do. We are not our jobs. We are not the emotions or sensations we feel. We are not the house we live in or our clothes. We are not Mr. and Ms. Stressed. Strip away all of those negative emotions, conditions and sensations because somewhere deep down inside - you are still there. Strip it all away and you will discover who you really are. That is what I have been aiming to do. That’s what I have been trying to master.
The same is true with my yoga practice. Before I have found my teacher I have been doing poses at home which of course I don’t recommend because it is so much better to learn it first with the help of a yogi, a teacher. I practice yoga not only because it is good for me but because I love the way I feel when I do. I feel new and clean! It helps keep my energy-tone at a level that I like. It’s relaxing, energizing and strengthening. I feel better at the end of a session and life runs more smoothly when you maintain a consistent discipline compared to when you don’t. Yoga enhances our experience of life and changes our perspective. I find myself spontaneously embracing a larger and more accurate conception of who I really am, how life works and who God is. I started seeing things differently and with less distorting – thus resulting in more peace of mind, better health and gives me more enthusiasm for life!
Now I am aware that there are some people who have mixed feelings about yoga. But remember that you will only have negative feelings about things that you do not understand. The first time I have seen yoga practitioners my reaction was like, “What are those weirdoes doing? Are they body contortionists who works at the circus?” And words like fanatics, crazies, clowns raced through my overactive mind. But deep inside I was actually very impressed. I was so highly attracted and I sensed that there is something about this people that looked “right.” They knew what they were doing and do not really care about what other people say about them. That started my journey to understanding what yoga really is. I wanted to learn how bending and twisting my body could have anything remotely to do with life, meaning, happiness and God – my pursuit of enlightenment. Like many things in my 25 years of life I can never know in advance the full impact something is going to have. I am attempting to describe yoga here in my own words and understanding but truthfully I can never convey the real meaning. My description and explanations are pale in comparison to the richness of the actual experience. But I hope that my words have given you a little understanding somehow.
I will continue practicing yoga until I master all the poses and until I am ready for “hardcore” meditation. I love feeling great and I hope that it will gradually become so natural, so pervasive and real and become a part of me that it will carry over into my whole life. I am looking forward to clarifying my deepest longings, aspirations, motivations that will feed me hope, meaning, optimism and my purpose in life. I am so glad that yoga is finally making its presence felt here in Iloilo.