When yoga goes beyond the mat

Posted: March 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm


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ROMULO: My enthusiasm for yoga has never waned even after 12 years.

MYSORE-STYLE yoga develops strength and encourages independence.

Peopleget into yoga for many reasons.

A friend dragged me along to my first yoga class several years ago, and I felt lighter and happier for the rest of the day. But the reason I really liked it was that it gave me relief from the pain of a broken heart. There was something inherent in the yoga practiceabout the experience of breathing while moving my limbs into posesthat helped me let go.

Slowly, over time, with consistent practice, yoga sorted me out physically and emotionally. It made me strong enough to confront my fears. It helped corral my mind, so that I stopped being a prisoner of my unrelenting thoughts. Soon, little (and even big) things stopped bothering me, and I grew less and less concerned about what people thought of me. Overall, I became a kinder, gentler personor so Ive been told.

Today I feel I am more myself, or who I was meant to be, and not so much who I thought I should be. But I still have a lot of work to do. Going back to my mat every morning to do the postures is certainly an important part of the work, but theres more to it than that. Ive got to go deeper.

Manila had its yoga boom sometime between 2008 and 2011, with studios sprouting all over the city; so Im guessing longtime practitioners want something more substantial by now. Like me, you might be curious about the inner practices, even if your reasons are self-serving. If yoga can piece together a shattered heart, imagine what will happen if I do more of it.

Some of you might seek to understand the foundational philosophies, or you might be experimenting with pranayama breathing. Maybe you know some words in Sanskrit and have added a sitting practice to your routine.

After noticing the feelings and sensations that arise when you shape and twist your body into poses day after day, it is not surprising that youve sharpened your awareness. Strange as it sounds, by bending your spine this way and that, you somehow stimulate interest in things that didnt matter to you beforelike the concepts of truth and suffering; and how you relate to yourself and others.

Clarity and purpose

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When yoga goes beyond the mat

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March 4th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Yoga