When I first tried out yoga in 2007, I tried hard to get into it but somehow it didn’t connect. I couldn’t let my body go because my mind was feeling restless. All I kept telling my teacher was that I could not stop thinking about a million things. I found the concept of quietness very challenging indeed. Because of my “loud” mind I was unable to enjoy the poses, breathe easily and connect with my body altogether and so I stopped practicing, believing that yoga wasn’t for me.
Five years later, I returned to yoga by chance. I had an internal voice that told me that that was the right thing to do; I was ready to find internal peace and I can’t exactly say why but it was my sixth sense telling me so. This time something clicked, my yoga practice improved quickly and I was energised and motivated by the progress I was making. The difference was that I now had an open mind which was ready to learn new moves and let my body guide me, rather than shutting down and dictating what I should and should not do. This changed mindset, which has remained with me, allows me to open my body and learn each and every single time I am on the mat. I have begun to notice the little miracles yoga brings to my life, something that has transformed me so much I have decided to study to become a yoga teacher in order to share that feeling and allow others to find their truth.
This is how Miracles happen on your mat. If you practice yoga with a beginner’s mind (just as I did), and let your body take its time to evolve from beginner’s poses to more difficult ones, you will also start to notice an amazing change in your mind. As you develop physical flexibility, the mind will also find a way to stretch its horizon and you will benefit from a deep transformation which will have a positive ripple effect on your life.
We are conditioned by what society has taught us to think and feel, and because of the way we are moulded, we create our own obstacles which often prevent us from growing spiritually. We are fearful of the unknown and fear prevents us from achieving our true potential. This is largely because it is fear which feeds the ego which in turn controls and stops us from taking risks. When you practice yoga, your mat becomes your sanctuary and it shouldn’t matter who is next, in front and behind you, and how advanced they might be. All that matters is how present you are during your practice so you can focus on your own steps and moves and being open to ensure fear and ego don’t restrict your practice. By letting yourself go, you won’t only share your body, but your mind and spirit with the universe. You will allow yourself to become one with nature and truly find your purpose. There is a reason why the main yoga poses are based on nature and animals (tree, crow, fish…) as well as examples of discipline, like warriors; it is to unify us with our higher self by taking shapes which are linked to Mother Nature and a higher power. It took me a while to understand this but as I started to, my life changed. I started appreciating more of what is nature-born than human-made. For me, that step alone was a miracle, as it brought me happiness.
Below are 8 steps which will help create miracles on your mat and in your everyday life:
- Focus on your mat, your steps and your own progress. Block everyone else out.
- Find a mantra that resonates with you and channel your energy through your breath and your energising mantra
- Be grateful for your practice
- Make daily intentions and find your purpose
- When you leave the yoga class, recall your mantra, remember your purpose and allow your mind to be as open as your body to new opportunities (you may get a call, you may meet someone or notice something that will make sense to you )
- See the signs. The universe communicates with us each day; if we have a blockage, things may go wrong. Those are warning signs to make us change our view so we can see the real messages; those which make us happy, those which are meaningful and outside our consciousness
- Love your body and your mind so that when you practice your heart is flexible to challenges and when you are off your mat, you can attract the same love you give yourself to you.
- Each time you return to your mat, be grateful for the experience the last practice has allowed you to have and visualise your next steps. This will allow you to create a continuum between your practice and your life so that you can progressively improve and grow within
- Appreciate some silence. The quietness of a yoga class can be replicated in your mind and life by simply creating a space of tranquility and quiet where you can recite your mantra. This is a form of meditation that belongs to you alone; when you can silence your busy mind and world outside.
- See the miracle happen as you attract positive feedback from your surroundings, people and life in general.