During the past decade, yoga has become incredibly popular in the western world and frankly, I tried to swim against that stream, thinking it was just some popular hype that would pass. Not everything Madonna and Miss Paltrow do is for each and everyone. But I came to realise that the yoga practice has the ability to change you, your body, mind and your life in general!
After graduating from high school, I started travelling and I made my first connection with Ashtanga yoga in London at the age of 18. I was instantly impressed with the physical aspect of the practice and I admired my instructor’s body and strength (at 65 years of age) but I was too young to understand the true power of yoga. It took me another 10 years to finally make the conscious decision to make yoga my life. I changed my career from being a lawyer to becoming a yoga instructor and all of a sudden, I discovered health, happiness and the ability to bring joy into my students’ life through a radiant, energetic and fun practice.
After trying all kinds of different yoga styles, my path lead me to Ashtanga yoga which literally translates into “Eight Limbs” of “Yoga” – “union”. As outlined in the Yoga Sutras by sage Patanjali, those eight limbs are: Yama (moral code), Niyama (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawl of the mind from the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (deep meditation) and Samadhi (union with the object of meditation).
Furthermore, throughout the Ashtanga yoga practice, students observe Bandhas (locks or energy seals), the Dristi (point of gaze) and UjjayiPranayama, a relaxed diaphragmatic style of breathing, characterized by an ocean sound, which resonates in the practitioner's throat. Throughout a practice, this specific breathing style is maintained in alignment with movements. The steady cycle of inhales and exhales provides the practitioner with a calming, mental focal point. Additionally, viṅyāsa and Ujjayi together create internal heat, which leads to purification of the body through increased circulation and sweating.
The benefits from a regular Asana and Vinyasa practice are many. Vinyasa - the moving through the postures - creates heat in the body and allows the student to move in and out of asanas more easily. Furthermore, Vinyasa produces purifying sweat, helps activate the breathing and cardiovascular system.
As Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said – “Yoga is 99 % practice and 1 % theory”.
During my Ashtanga yoga training, I learned to consciously breath, listen to my heart beating, feel my breath flowing through my entire body and was able appreciate stillness, endure and enjoy meditations. Slowly, I was able to reconnect with myself. All these experiences showed me a completely different side of my body and I started to feel inner peace. After years of practicing yoga as workout, I started to get a first glimpse of the experience beyond.
Yoga is a lifestyle – a way of thinking, living, eating, breathing and being. It is a magical tool for everyone who would like to reconnect with their body, mind, soul and nature. Yoga has the ability to evolve from a 55 min. work out to a life-changing experience – if you let it.
I realized that being on my mat, listening to my body changed my perspective and me. It does not matter how bendy you are, the only thing that matters is practicing, moving, breathing, being still, laughing and LIVING YOGA.
धियो॒_यो_नः॑_प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥_। (Gayatri Mantra, Rig Veda)
We meditate upon the spiritual effulgence of that adorable supreme divine reality Who is the source of the physical, the astral and the heavenly spheres of existence. May that supreme divine being enlighten our intellect, so that we may realise the supreme truth.
Come join us for a wonderful experience of yoga and pristine nature in Telluride, Colorado. Telluride is a pearl in the San Juan Mountains, a place that offers peace and breath-taking nature and paired with luxurious accommodation, in house yoga and meditation and much more RE:treat offers a unique experience!