Rookie yogi: a year of moving meditation with yoga

I started my yoga journey 1 year ago. Clean slate. At the times, it seem like a bad idea to me, but I had been doing everything to cope with break-up and loss and grieve, and nothing seems to help. My best friend from college and a few colleagues asked me to do yoga with them. That was the beginning of my transformation. Don’t do yoga if you fear of these followings;

  1. Acknowledge the ego. After a few months, I thought I nailed the Sun salutation A series and thought that I was so ready for something more advance like arm balancing. Until I took a 1–1 class, I realized that my postures and Ujjaiyi breathing were completely messy. The foundation is very important and my instructor warned me of future injuries if I continue doing what I was doing. She fixed my posture and asked me to do the modification instead. Before we finished up the class she said “These are my suggestions, you can choose what you prefer… at the end of the day…it depends on how big your ego is”
  2. Patience. yes, it requires patience. For someone who is proactive, goal-oriented and semi-active doer. I thought determination, pushing forward and strength are the key but no… it is patience. You are part of this learning process and be in the moment with it.
  3. Emotional wake-up calls. Every breath in and out. I am very much more self-aware. On the mat, you are with your mind and body, they might scream at you due to fear, pain or boredom. I had a lot of emotional wake up calls while practicing yoga. Sometimes, I had to take a break and got out in the middle of the class to drink water or cry to release the tension. I am not sure this happened to other people or not. But to me, it is a sign that there is some internal work i need to do and I did and am still a work in progress :)
  4. Acceptance. There are days that i can do difficult poses and days that I can’t. At first I got really frustrated at myself. Later I learned that it is again the Ego and the expectation I place for myself too much that I eventually overlook my mind and body conditionings each day. I also noticed that I compared myself with other student on the mat next to mine, sneaked on the corner of my eyes to see whether they could perform those poses or not, then put more pressure and self-critism on myself, which is not helpful and quite self-sabotaging. One day, I told myself as this conversation in my head goes

Voice 1: “You must do this full pose. It is challenging and it looks cool if you can”
Voice 2: “But my hamstring is really tight and I don’t want to get injured”
Voice 1: “The other new guy who just joined can even do it. You suck Pla”
Voice 2: “I want to but I don’t feel comfortable today. I don’t want to get injured and won’t be able to do yoga for a long time if I push myself through the pose”
Voice 3: “Pla. how about you do a modification of that pose instead. so that you can still work through it but don’t overly push yourself… is that cool with ya?”….. then everything went calm and it felt so right

5. Intimacy (In-to-me-see) When you listen to your mind, body, feelings and its needs and fears. You unconsciously develop a healthy intimacy with yourself. You learn to respect your wants and limitations. I notice my egos when it wants to push me not to the higher self but to compete. I notice when I overly compromise my needs and well-being to please others in order to gain social validations in unnecessary situations even on my mat to get the validations from my teachers. I learn to establish a healthy boundary with myself and be honest of what I can and what I want and what I won’t compromise for. The fear grows smaller and I am less hesitant to speak up for myself.

In this 1 full year of yoga journey. I have changed immensely. for a better version and for greater goods. I bow to all the teachers in yoga and those who engage in my life. Thank you for making me feel as humanly as I have never felt it before. I live fully now.