Written By: Katrina Del Espiritu Santo
I joined my first yoga class for very petty reasons. It was in a gym studio, and from outside, I saw someone just casually perform a headstand. I was so amazed by that that I approached the teacher when the class finished and asked him, “How is that even possible? And how can I learn to do that?” He merely smiled and told me to join the next class.
And I did. Since then, I very rarely missed a class and if I did, it was out of my powers. I got stuck in traffic, I had to stay back at the office and finish some work – you know how it goes. But I was completely hooked on yoga, you know? I was so amazed by what my body can do, that I can bend and twist into these crazy shapes. And also my body felt so good, I was lighter on my feet, and I very rarely experienced again those back aches that I used to always get from spending so much time sitting on a chair in front of a computer.
So, it went on like this for many years.
But then I started to feel like it wasn’t enough.
When I finally nailed that headstand, I didn’t feel like I actually achieved something great. Sure, it was exciting but surely, that couldn’t be all there is to it?
As I practiced more, I started looking for something more and I couldn’t shake off that feeling for the longest.
I decided to buy books on yoga and I was so surprised that a lot of them didn’t focus on the asanas and up until that point, that was all I knew – asanas and meditation. I read more and I discovered that indeed, yes, there is more to it.
I started to explore yoga beyond the mat and I was lucky to have the opportunity to study yoga deeper than what showing up at a yoga studio could ever do.
I learned that yoga comes in different forms and it is more profound than you can imagine. It is more than just poses, more than just meditation, more than just breathing techniques – it is all these things put together and more. Yoga happens when you learn to marry these with each other, applying it on and off the mat, and resulting in finding harmony from within. It does not happen only when you just step on the mat and practice your asanas for an hour.
The transformation will happen if you let it. As we practice our asanas, moving with intention, and being aware of our breaths, we are able to deepen awareness of the mind; as the energy force flows through our body and into the mind and we become a little more balanced.
This is my perspective and this is my yoga journey so far. But I know there is still so much more for me to learn.