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January 6, 2011

There’s Being Limber And Then There’s The Eight Limbs.


Photo by enfad

From a video to a studio to the eight limbs of yoga philosophy.

I’ve heard so many people say how yoga has changed their life: all you have to do is keep showing up on the mat and things will start to happen.

Well, when I first started practicing yoga at the gym, I had no idea how or why yoga would be good for me. I practiced to balance out my super cardio workout; yoga was like the raita (Indian cooling side dish) to my ridiculously spicy curry
workout.

I kept this up for years without listening to what was going on inside my body. I just knew that yoga felt good, so I kept doing it. Eventually I stopped going to yoga at the gym and started practicing more at home with the help of my first yoga DVD by Seane Corn called Vinyasa Flow Yoga.

I just remember Seane saying stuff about connecting the dots, building inner awareness and the way she ended the class with Namaste. What the heck was Namaste? What dots? I didn’t know, but it blew me away and I had no idea why.

This built my curiosity to attend yoga at a real yoga studio. The first class I attended the teacher talked about how yoga can help to improve your life. Again, these cool messages tantalized me, but then half way through the class I found myself sweating, shaking and thinking, ‘yeah right lady. This ain’t gonna happen’.

After that class, and many other classes, I came to the conclusion that perhaps what my yoga teacher meant was that if I were able to reach my hands flat on the floor in uttanasa (standing forward bend) that perhaps something magical would happen and I’d be changed forever.

I continued to practice with this frame of mind for a while, hoping and waiting for something to happen. I was on the slow track toward enlightenment, but didn’t realize that enlightenment had anything to do with my practice.

Lucky for me I found myself enrolled in a yoga intensive where my world was turned upside down and inside out. I was introduced to yoga philosophy.

I realized that my yoga practice was more than just a mere workout and that how I practiced was more important than just practicing for the sake of practicing. I realized then, and am still putting into practice, how I can apply yoga philosophy to all aspects of my life.

I feel super lucky to come across the guidance I needed in order to accept change and evolve. I didn’t consciously ask for it or expect it. That’s one of the coolest things I find about yoga; it’s a constant journey of self-discovery.

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