“Yoga asana is a physical practice, the practice of yoga is beyond the physical.” -A.M Conneely
I get asked quiet frequently about how I got into yoga. While this is a relevant question I find the question of why someone keeps coming back to the practice to be somewhat more interesting. So I thought I would share a little bit of my story.
I was first inspired to begin the practice mostly because I thought it would be a good first step on the path to getting healthier.
At the same time I was reading a book which reminded me of the spiritual practices of buddhism which I had encountered as a teenager. I had found the idea of this spiritual practice interesting back then but didn’t delve too deeply into it. I was definitely at a transitional point in my life and searching for something…
That first class I attended at the Yoga Shala Galway was challenging and rewarding in a way I could not have imagined which kept me coming back for more.
(I had tried yoga once before in secondary school but I was not ready for it then and I also remember practicing with my cousin on the seaside on the island where I grew up.)
‘I was not naturally flexible‘ in fact I was naturally tight in a lot of places especially in my hamstrings, ‘I was also not naturally strong‘, my upperbody strength was particularly lacking.
In the beginning as I am sure is true for most people I connected more with the physical aspects of the practice, enjoying a sense of feeling stronger, more mobile and more in tune with my own body.
As my practice developed so did my awareness of all the deeper levels beyond the physical aspects of the practice.
*Awareness: Deeper awareness of the body its needs and capabilities.
*Appreciation: An enjoyment and appreciation of the process over the end result.
*Compassion: Becoming more compassionate for yourself,the people and world around you.
*Community: Wherever you go you will always find friends to practice with.
*Equanimity: The knowledge that there is always a calm quiet place within you no matter how hectic or busy life might seem.
Even if you don’t practice the physical asana of yoga you can find these benefits through living your day with a little more awareness and attention. Yoga after all means union or connection. Where the mind and body return to a natural state of harmony.
Through dedication and practice we can tap into that harmony in life, finding a place where we are not separate but intrinsically connected.
What are you dedicated to? I would love to hear about where you find your moments of connection/yoga.
Feel at ease.