Once in Italy I began working in television as a model, which was one of my dreams, and as a bartender at night. I always tried to put some money aside to go back home to see my family again. I wanted to go back to the university, but I had no idea what I wanted to study or if I could even earn enough money to afford to go back to school. After various random jobs, I began work full time in a furniture store which finally permitted me to pay the rent and travel to Cuba once a year. I also began studying politics and economics at university, but after two years I realised it was not my true path. I felt lost, I also knew that I was young, and I was living in a foreign country without any guidance from my family who was far away. In this difficult times I felt like a deep dark hole that I couldn’t escape and I often wondered , why this was happening to me. Buti t is through the difficult times in our lives, that we are able to grow. Nothing builds our strength as surviving difficulties.
Chapter two of my story
After eight years working in the furniture store, I found myself unhappy with the life I was living, searching for something I didn’t have, and because I didn’t have time to do the things I loved. I knew i needed to be creative and i needed freedom.
I started working part time, and here I tell you: If you do anything, and I mean anything at all that moves you closer to a place of peace or excitement, give yourself a pat on the back. There is nothing wrong with congratulating yourself and telling yourself what a good job you’re doing. It will keep you moving forward and help you build momentum.
A new beginning:
the moment I found yoga.
I have always been an active person ; I love sports boxing and running are two of my passions. But yoga was completely different. My journey began 4 years ago. If you ask me today how it started, I don’t know the reason; I just wanted to do something different. I began following YouTube videos, and I was fascinated about all the yoga positions (called asanas)
A year later, I found myself in a yoga lesson, which was a frustrating experience for me. I thought I have learned so much after a year of practising alone, but I realized it was not. I could not keep my eyes from looking around the room. I felt jealous of a girl near me doing a full King Pigeon, and a woman who could press up into a handstand; she looked so fierce and strong while doing it. I wondered how they made it look so easy, and why I wasn’t able to achieve these things.
After practising yoga at home by myself for months, practising in a room full of people was challenging. While I loved the sense of community and the unifying energy that was created during each class, internally. I was struggling with a battle amongst my ego.
I began to compare my practice and that made me feel awful – jealous, resentful of the other students in the class.
It was time to look for the good aspects of this new experience.
I discovered yoga was and still is a channel between my body and my mind.
Practising on my own at home had been such a wonderful and enlightening experience, but there was something amazing about practising in group.
Feeling the energy of the group, fueled me in a certain way; I was building community and I was guided by a teacher. It was enough to switched my perspective, and I am happy for all the connections I have built there. Today it is like my second home .
Reading books related to yoga made me understand many things about life, about my yoga practice and about my mind… I love reading, but arriving at a coherent understanding of the yoga tradition takes time and a lot of contemplation. That is why during this journey books has become my great friends and guide.
I beleive every yogi should own these books to check often:
1- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
This was the first yoga book I bought.
This book changed my life. I realised I was focusing on the results instead of focusing on what I was living: THE JOURNEY, no expectations, no goals, no frustration. This part of the journey hooked me, forming in me positive intentions, living the present moment and appreciating the true beauty of what I was experiencing.
2- The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
by T.K.V. Desikachar
Understanding the yogic principles is essential when we do an āsana practice. As Desikachar explains, no matter how “beautifully we carry out an āsana, however flexible our body may be, if we do not achieve the integration of body, breath, and mind we can hardly claim that what we are doing is yoga” (p. 23). Yoga is an internal, personal process in which we are both simultaneously the observer and the observed. We must pay attention to ourselves in order to practice yoga. By understanding our current state and abilities, letting our conscious full breath lead each movement, and truly feeling and observing our breath and our body, we begin to understand the true meaning of āsana practice.
3- Yoga mind body and spirit by Donna Farhi
This book provided me with an excellent foundation for building my practice.
“Because the patterns are designed to create the most efficient pathways for movement and expression,” she writes, “once you have discovered how to engage their support you will be able to figure out the alignment of any posture by yourself.
My Journey into Meditation
My first real experience with meditation came when I started reading the Yoga Sutras, I began with guided meditation, guided visualization and Vipassana meditation. I change my practice repeatedly because I was not able to sat down and ‘be quiet’, I just ended up feeling irritated as the monkey chatter in my mind was on high speed, and nothing was slowing it down.
One day I came across Listen by Allan Watts (who’s work I love). This track gave me the keys to quite the mind.
I felt so light, free and deeply connected with myself. I was able to focus my attention inwards, to be completely present in the moment, and to allow my body to heal itself just by learning to listen.
It was then that I realised meditation is not just sitting still and switching off my mind. It is a journey with nowhere to go, nothing to do, no goals, but just a self exploration.
Now I meditate every morning before rising from my bed, sometimes for more than 30 minutes. This is the time for me to get in touch with my inner self. There are some days that I feel ungrounded and disconnected and then there are those days where I need to sit down for longer, breathing and listening.
When you start looking deeper into yourself, you learn how to disconnect from the damaging habits of thought, feeling and reaction.
All this journey changed the way I saw life… and it CHANGED it for the better! It inspired me to do the very best I could, and that is why I went for my YTT ( Yoga Teahers Training), I was excited and anxious to begin the training, the purpose of it was to discover more things about my body and mind, deepen my spiritual practice, made new friends, learn more about my asana practice and gain confidence in my abilities. I can assure you if you do it, you will have an amazing and unique life experience.
Since I began learning more of this amazing discipline in my YTT, I realised I wanted to share my experience with others. Yoga is more than the asanas, it is a journey of self-exploration; it makes you grow ON YOUR MAT AND OUT OF IT, but you must want it.
The journey of sharing my passion starts now, and it is the new chapter of my life.
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