Five tips that changed my life
I was thinking about the transforming energy of yoga and thinking about how beautiful it is to rediscover the connection between the body, mind and soul.
Rediscovering something means that something inside of you has changed.
Where does that change starts?
We know how important it is to have a good guide during the journey through yoga. This means an experienced person able to share his or her own understanding with the students, and to achieve this, good instructions are essential. They act like a guide through the practice that connects you with your teacher, making the whole experience more intense.
I started my practice when I was 17 and I remember feeling that instructions were like doors that opened inside of me every class, creating opportunities to go deeper into every practice, from the body, layer by layer, getting closer to my inner self.
Today, 11 years later, I thought of the instructions that changed my practice and took my it further, and I realized that those changes in my practice transformed into major changes in my way of seeing life.
Here is a list of the five lessons I think were the most important:
1. Stand properly on your feet
During my first yoga class these instructions weren’t as obvious as they sounds now. In tadasana, mountain pose, I was feeling the contact between my feet and the earth below me, and that gave energy to my whole body, in a completely new way. For the first time, I was feeling the balance and unbalance between my ankles and legs, and how that affected my whole body. I was actually feeling my whole body, giving attention to it and seeing myself in a totally new manner because I felt that, in fact, I was the owner of that body and that thing, over time, became deeper, giving me freedom and the understanding to feel that I was the owner of my own life.
2. Open your chest
My first back-bending classes were a disaster for my emotional stability. I remembered the feeling of opening my chest as a way of connect directly with my deeper emotions, generating uncontrolled laughs, anxiety, fear, disappointment or sadness. I realized that the stability I thought I had was nothing more than disconnection with my own emotions—emotions I didn’t even know the source of, and I thought I knew myself.
If I’m not watchful, while the tension of maintaining an asana increases, my disconnection with my breathing also increases. I can see myself there, almost red, holding my breath, giving an internal fight against my body. Until I hear the magic word breathe, reminding me that everything can be done in a gentle way, only then the expression on my face automatically softens.
4. Be gentle with yourself
Ahimsa, non-violence, was a huge discovery for me. I was conscious of the idea of taking care of others, but turning that around blew my mind, probably because—due to my inexperience—I never thought of yoga as an opportunity to improve the relationship with myself. But there I was, learning how to perceive the moments where I was pushing myself too hard, differentiating between the times when I was doing things based on ego and moments where the actions, movements and postures were born from observing an affection for myself.
Even though tension is an important component of any asana, learning how to differentiate and let go of the unnecessary tension gives freedom not just to our body but to all the aspects of our lives. Every day we are dealing with our own worries and I think it’s important to be able to distinguish between the important things, and the things we can let go without problem. If we combined this with a deep breath, everything looks better automatically.
Alejandra Campos is a yoga practitioner/instructor, a writer and -in these moments- a traveler. Moving around different countries following her heart, she is learning a lot about life, languages, fear, hope, joy, trust, love, communication and being yourself. In resume, she’s learning how to live. You can read about her experiences in alecampos.posterous.com or, find her on twitter here.
Editor: Maja Despot
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