WHAT YOGA HAS MEANT TO MARIA
One of the most important things that yoga has taught me is to take better care of myself.
Such an oxymoron but relaxing can be hard work at times. We all have heard the slogan “no pain, no gain” or “Don’t quit. You're already in pain. You're already hurt. Get a reward from it.” Even during the earlier stages of my yoga practice I would choose to attend the most challenging classes where in the first 30 minutes, I would feel fatigued, in pain and feel exhausted due to certain poses being very hard on my body.
On my yoga journey, I have met amazing yoga teachers and practitioners that never fail to inspire me. A light bulb FINALLY turned on! And I questioned myself, why I am doing yoga? What does my body need at this moment? What is that I want to get out of it?
I consider relaxation as a skill, and as with any skill, learning to relax properly takes time and practice, at least concerning yoga. From now on I only choose yoga classes carefully so that they are beneficial for my body, mind and spirit. At this stage on my journey, I am slowly no longer seeking any big sensations in my asanas. I am starting to let go of any expectations that my body “should feel” a certain way in a pose. As Mandy Hale says “sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens”, this has helped me a lot with regards to how I see the world and has made me more relaxed in life.
Taking care of myself also means for me to leave behind any negativity, self-critical talk and to bring open-mindedness into my practice which translates into positive encouragement, kindness to myself and knowing when enough is enough, both on the mat and off the mat.
It is not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make happiness your priority. It is a necessity! We can’t give from a depleted place.
I am extremely grateful to the Hot Yoga Wellington community, especially the 2015 Hot Yoga TeacherTraining, Essensual Yoga, Beginner Yogi Studio, and 4Inspired movement all of you have been very inspirational.