Peace is a state of inner health, a state of inner integrity in which you don’t torture others, nor torture yourself and you just want to be absolutely quiet, calm, collected, intact.
The decision to move towards yoga came of a general need for change, but I soon discovered that it was a choice made long ago!
I have always searched for a space, just for me, where I could be away from the chaos…a place where I could find silence, where I could be quiet and breathe. I found that in this space I could be more focused, more aware of the changes within me and in my life. These moments of calm, silence, and solitude were very important moments for finding my inner balance and to recharge my energy. In this way I thoroughly savoured the various moments of growth…without knowing I was living Yoga!!!
2012 was a year of great change – a time of heightened awareness. Some personal events in my life suddenly led me away from my artistic world. My body refused to speak the same language it had spoken to me all the while… my mind was defending itself from the life of lights and cameras and from my own emotional energy…the same life that I loved more than anything else, my mind was now rejecting…
It was this period of standstill in my life that led me to India in 2014. I decided to directly dive into the world of yoga without “going through the street” and got certified as a Yoga Teacher (Yoga Siromani) in Ashtanga Yoga.
This decision had suddenly opened my eyes to where I had come!
India, a country that thrives on spirituality…a country where life is real and there are no external barriers like in our Western society…everything flows here.
India took my breath away! In an instant it made me aware that I was, in reality, never as free to just ‘be’ as I had always thought. I realised that in life so far, I had been pushing aside my soul to face battles that were not mine.
In the Western society where there is constantly a bitter race to achieve goals, relentless comparisons, always the responsibility to live up to the expectations of others…all of it had led me to forget who I really was within!
When you leave the losing effort to improve yourself, life will improve. In that relaxation, in that acceptance of yourself, Life will begin to caress, and flow through you”
It is through Yoga that I realized how much this part of me was suffering…choked by a reality not suitable. It is because of Yoga that I still love being “artistic”!
The knowledge and practice of this ancient discipline developed in me a profound sense of awareness and helped me understand and protect myself from anything that was not part of my inner being.
Today, it is one of my greatest pleasures to share the essence of this ancient discipline I love to see the growing physical and mental awareness in my students, the change in their approach towards Life, leading to their physical and psychological well-being.
That simply become silent and careful observers of themselves is tall and powerful form of knowledge that accompanies the evolution of the inner self and the physical``
Yoga postures are of a corrective and therapeutic nature. Respecting the natural alignment of the body, the aim is to work with every part of the body according to what it needs to be in complete physical balance. Yoga postures are called “asanas”. Along with regulated deep breathing, asanas act not only at the musculoskeletal level but also at a deeper organic level. Positioning the body in different ways in space with relation to the force of gravity and coordinated deep breathing improves blood circulation, making it easier to stretch and strengthen muscles, open joints, especially the vertebrae of the spine, and stimulate the internal organs of the body.
Regular mindful practice strengthens the spine, improves flexibility, muscle endurance and strength, balance, coordination, and mobility.
Regular practice also improves digestion, promotes recovery of ideal weight, stimulates the endocrine glands, improves functioning of the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems, and creates a progressive function of protection, prevention and control.
Yoga offers a comprehensive system of relaxation. It allows you to experience not only complete physical, but also mental relaxation. Most conflicts and stress in modern society is mostly due to the lack of knowledge about how the mind works. Yoga trains you to focus and centre yourself and to voluntarily reduce the constant chatter and activities of the mind. When the mind reduces its activities it is able to relax and recharge…it is able to know itself in silence.
Regular and conscious practice of Pranayama – the science of breath – reduces hyperactivity of the mind, balances the nervous system, directs the mental processes, neutralizes the imbalances arising from stress, improves physical and mental energy, promotes rapid recovery from trauma, and alleviates depression and anxiety. Through the practice of Pranayama the mind becomes more lucid. It is more balanced and is widely conscious of its being complete.
The body receives a fresh supply of oxygenated blood and energy and deposits of toxins are cleared out of the system promoting rejuvenation. Breathing is much more than a physiological function. It is not only responsible for all the physical functions of the body but is also connected to the activities of the brain and our emotions. Breathing performs the function of communication between the body and the mind…it is a bridge between the body and the mind!
To live spiritually, is to live in the present...
“Meditation is, in general, a practice that is used to achieve greater mastery of the activities of the mind, so that the mind can stop its incessant chatter in the background and become absolutely quiete and peaceful. A state of meditation is reached when one is totally aware and focused in the present moment (in the here and now). It is a practice towards self-realization.
Whether one wants to become more religious, spiritual, or philosophical, or improve their physical and mental conditions through meditation is purely a personal choice.
This description of meditation, taken from Wikipedia, is perfectly suited to a Western mentality of different cultural origin. The description simplifies a particularly complex concept. Focusing and concentrating to calm the mind, or even clearing it of all thoughts and always being in the present is not very easy.
In a Western society where thoughts are influenced by materialism, turning inward can be an uphill task.
Meditation, in fact comes from a culture where the ultimate goal is not to run the race for money or success, but to achieve wellness – physical, mental, and spiritual. So thoughts and daily actions are only directed towards that goal.
I have personally lived and experienced this large difference in approach on both sides – Adopting the best from both cultures and balancing the differences has influenced my personal and professional growth.
Yoga is a philosophy of life which has the potential to create a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Ashtanga Yoga, practiced correctly and in the right order, leads the practitioner to rediscover their potential at all levels of human consciousness – physical, psychological and spiritual. Postures (Asanas), synchronized breathing (Ujjayi Pranayama), and focused gaze (Drishti), create the foundation of this practice. With mindful and regular practice we can slowly gain control of our senses, go within and develop a deep awareness of ourselves.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic and challenging form of yoga, which is based on the synchronization of movement and breath (Vinyasa). It is characterized by the use of the same set of poses each time during practice.
The combination of controlled breathing, internal muscular contractions of certain body parts (bandha), and moving from one pose to another, generates a lot of internal heat. This internal warming causes the body to sweat in turn releasing built up toxins and purifying the muscles, joints, and internal organs.
The beginning sequence is called Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa) and has been designed to reinforce, align, and open the body and mind.
Ashtanga Yoga requires some effort, but the result of regular practice is a strong but light and supple body, and a calm mind.
Acroyoga is a fun and healthy practice that combines the harmony of Yoga, balance, and energy acrobatics. Through the combination of these disciplines, Acroyoga gives us the opportunity to acquire, in a spontaneous way, a greater awareness of ourselves and of our body. It allows us to experience a deep sense of unity and trust in ourselves and others, discover new skills, and overcome limitations and fears. It teaches us to support others and be supported, smile and laugh, and create a community….cheerful and stimulating
…And it brings out the inner child in you!
Yoga Fit SUP, as the name suggests, is the practice of yoga or fitness on a stand-up paddle board (used for surfing) floating on water. The movement of the board on the water makes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and other workouts more complex. Trying to precariously balance on an unstable platform requires one to engage and activate the core stabilizer muscles in order to counteract the strength of the board on water. This increases the challenge and improves balancing skills as well as efficiency of movement.
Yoga on the board brings a whole new dimension to the practice…it is a practice complete in itself. It improves strength, stamina, balance, concentration, co-ordination, and breathing patterns. Moreover, it builds courage and trust. The icing on the cake is “water”…an important element in this practice. As we start getting anxious to find our overall balance, the water mesmerizes the mind to not want to get off the board!
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