Spiritual Transformation with Yoga – Part 2

Besides the physical transformation with yoga, I also experience the change in my mind, which is reflected in my attitude towards life. To name a few, yoga has given me the following new perceptions towards life:

* Everything in moderation including moderation. The term ‘moderation’ can be subjective. What is moderate for me may not be moderate for another person and vice versa. Therefore, I have to find the right balance for myself based on my own make up. In the past, I tend to overstretch myself to get into or to perfect a pose to the extent of injuring my body. This is definitely not yoga. I have learnt to walk the middle path. I am glad that now I do my practice with breath and awareness and stop inflicting injuries on my body.

* Be mindful. Stay focused on the moment has always been a challenge for me. I am still trying hard to concentrate my mind on what I am doing for as long as I could. Some of the techniques I use are – focusing on my breath, be more aware of my thoughts and emotions, and doing one thing at a time. There are four applications in the practice of mindfulness. That is, mindfulness with regard to (i) body; (ii) feelings; (iii) moments of consciousness and; (iv) objects.

* Be content with and grateful for what I have. I am leading a more fulfilled and content life after I focus on my blessings and celebrate what I do have. I realize that being grateful has the power to block out negative emotions.

I once chanced upon this interesting quote “Flexibility is of the mind not the body. Body is not stiff, mind is.” Everything stems from the mind. We cannot change the fact or reality, but we can transform the way we react to the fact or reality. If I can change the way I think, I will see a different world.

All in all, yoga has changed me in a gradual and positive way. On one level, my practice was physically enlivening. It awakened my senses, increased my awareness of my body and made me feel better. But on a deeper level, yoga fortified me and gave me perspective. Yoga helps me live in my body with my emotions.

I see myself blessed that I not only can enjoy the physical workout of the practice, but also experience the spiritual effects of the practice. The spirituality of practice is innate, and blossoms as I open up and let it in. The practice eventually changes me outside and in.

Eventually, I hope to reach a level when my body, breath, mind, stillness and movement can intertwine, and I find joy, contentment, peace and liberation through my practice, which state will continue even after the practice ends. The positive energy that is generated during the practice will continue to emanate from myself, benefitting myself and having a positive bearing on the people around me – which is the true practice of yoga.

Namaste,
Joan Tan