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The meaning of yoga has changed for me since I first began the practice. I was initially attracted to yoga because it reminded me of ballet.
I entered the practice at first with the thought that it could be a good physical activity I could participate in regardless of the numerous injuries I sustained while dancing ballet pre-professionally.
I had also hoped it would remind me of my dancing days a time in my life where I was most at peace, happy and felt a sense of direction.
Little did I know exactly how much my yoga
practice would evolve to bring those feelings back into the forefront along with so many other positive attributes. If I had to use one word to describe yoga it would be empowering.
I believe it has the strength to empower regardless of the physical, social, emotional, economical or geographical situation.
Whether the yoga practice is asanas, meditation or a combination of both it requires you to be present.
The ability to connect with yourself in the present moment while being able to recognize the physical and psychological musings that occur within that moment.
And this can fuel the flames to empower your mind and your body to work through life’s challenges to find happiness. In my experience yoga does this because through the act of being present it allows us to clear our mind.
When filled with stress or consuming negative thoughts it detaches us from the present moment. That is when yoga is most useful, allowing for a cleansing of the mind which in turn allows the stress that disconnects us to dissipate.
Releasing the stress and clearing the mind provides a sense of empowerment where you give way to self-acceptance. The self-acceptance found in regular yoga practice, both with asana and meditation, brings a self-confidence.
Which in my experience is like an internal light that brings an empowering
vibration to your way of life. The self-confidence that comes with yoga is powerful and infectious. It provides an influence to empower others.
I see this the most at the end of yoga sessions with the children I teach. Many Shuffle into the room heads down, shoulders slumped, displaying almost a sense of defeat.
By the time they leave the class they are standing tall with bright eyes and giving off a sense of accomplishment in what their mind just allowed their bodies to do.
They leave the class feeling more empowered not because of anything I had done but because I had the self-confidence, acceptance and love empowering me to show them what incredible and capable beings they are.
With the various ways’ yoga has brought empowerment into my life it is also provided me with purpose. I can’t help but think that yoga has done this for others as well.
The amazing part is I am finding as my practice grows is that my purpose is becoming clearer. If I were to imagine myself with this knowledge without my yoga practice I don’t believe I would have the strength to persevere in exploring that purpose.
Yoga is the empowerment that allows one to realize and reach their aspirations. This is something we can learn from just practicing yoga and do not need to take a yoga teacher training to realize.