Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, widely known as B.K.S. Iyengar, said “Your body exists in the past and your mind exist in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present.” The more I practice yoga, the more appreciative I became about this saying. Before I became familiar with yoga philosophy, or the way of thinking in yoga, I had a tendency to worry about the past and the future for no reason.
Many teachers said that yoga is not just a physical exercise, but it’s a way of lifestyle. After I started to be more mindful about my practice, a link between B.K.S. Iyengar’s saying and my yoga teachers’ comments appeared to be clearer and clearer. Yoga certainly is much more than a workout for the body as it strengthens our minds as much. I came to realize the importance of ‘being with present’ in my practice. I stopped worrying about the past or the future as I progressed my journey. Moreover, there was a sense of realization that I cannot just focus on my physical body in order to better my practice since I need to balance it with a development of my mind. Mind and body; this is yoga.
When one becomes more aware about the balancing act of the body and the mind, there will be peace—peace of mind and peace of body. This balancing act functions as a generator of relaxation at a moment of focus. It became especially evident during my yoga practice. This philosophy applies to all aspects of yoga. For example, in my asana practice, whether it is at a warming up phase or at a peak pose, my body and mind need to be at the mindful ‘present state’ to successfully reach the equilibrium.
Thanks to this yoga philosophy, I came to learn how to honor myself—my past, my future, and most of all, my present. I came to accept who I am no matter what. With the self-acceptance, I gained peace, compassion, and happiness in my everyday life.
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