A former coworker and now friend introduced me to Yoga. At work, he demonstrated a pose that he learned but it didn't spark my interest. Why, you ask? Well, picture a man wearing a crisp dress shirt, slick dress pants and polished dress shoes positioning into a Warrior II stance! If this so-called "Yoga Practice" would make me look as foolish as he did, I was definitely making it my last priority to try it out.
When I finally decided to attend my first class, I was oozing out with confidence because I instantly felt like a true Yogi after getting a glimpse of myself in the huge mirrors as I swaggered with my matching Lululemon outfit. Since I was the only male in the studio, my ego level was off the charts! Before my head got any bigger, the confidence wore off when I noticed that I had difficulty following (mentally and physically) the flow. I learned my first lesson when the Instructor advised us to leave our egos outside the studio and only focus on what our own bodies were doing. As the Instructor commanded, I focused on my Ujjayi breath and immediately noticed a change in my state of mind and physical abilities. The advice shifted a disappointing start to an exhilarating end!
It's been a year and half since I attended my first class. I incorporate the Ujjayi breath to help me stay calm during difficult situations at work and in my personal life. Also, being aware of my ego is allowing me to think more clearly and rationally when realizing whether it's my "ego-self" or my "true-self" that's making daily decisions. Most importantly, I'm more connected to my spiritual being in a way that opens my heart and mind to seek a deeper purpose in life.
Last week, a profound moment occurred in Yoga class when an epiphany helped me see the difficult poses I avoided (because of how uncomfortable my mind and body felt), were metaphors in my life for the challenges I avoided to face and the changes I resisted to accept! My little arm hairs stood up and I felt chills running up my spine because of that moment. I truly appreciate that even after attending more than 200 hours of class, I can still learn new things from the thoughts and emotions that I experience during a Yoga practice. I recommend all types of Yoga to everyone who is looking for a new way to workout, explore their mental capabilities and connect with their spirituality. For me, it helps to have an open mind/heart because sometimes, unexpected thoughts/emotions reveal itself to allow me to have an awakening. Other times, I only feel the heat, humidity and sore muscles but that's a cool feeling too!
We are all students of life. When we accept that all the trials and triumphs we face on a daily basis are lessons to teach us how to become better people, the energy we exude into the Universe and the energy returned to us will be that much stronger!