When I took up yoga, it was purely to fix my digestive issues. I was fortunate to have found a beautifully grounded teacher who led us through a classical hatha practice every day, minus the smoke and mirrors (read overly creative twists and repackaged forms).
My love for purity was reinforced at both my teachers’ trainings when steeped in the science and philosophy, I realised that yoga is more than just your experience on the mat. My mat became an excuse for time to go within, quieten the noise and connect with Spirit. In time, my now very well-used mat has become the place I retreat to for all forms of personal sadhana: prepping for class, studying with teachers online, journaling, vision boarding, and immersing myself in research and the extensive yoga library I’ve been building.
If my mat could talk it would tell you about the times I’ve lain exhausted, barely able to make it from plank to child’s pose. It would whisper about the tears I’ve cried as I’ve struggled with life’s curveballs, and the times it’s caught me animatedly sharing my BIG dreams and putting those plans into motion.
My mat has become a metaphor for all things ‘yoga’ — which to me is more than the physical practice. It’s catching myself in that moment of guilt, resentment, or those feelings of inexplicable fear, and realising that your moments in abhyasa (study) and Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God) build the muscle to keep the faith.
I have two mantras from my lessons on and off the mat: your breath is your best teacher and yoga is life — beyond asana.
To those of us seeking more from yoga, surround yourself with like-minded yogis, expand your learning, build community and catch yourself evolving every opportunity you get. My hope for you is that you find your purity of practice and live on purpose.