What is Yoga for me?

 

First of all let’s call this page an “About me” page equivalent.

Secondly, there are multiple sources on the web, where you can simply read what is yoga: where does it come from, what’s the purpose of chakras and what for are asanas. Here I will rather not focus on that.

At the start of my practice I was not focused on all that. At the start I was just looking for some excersises that will help me to do a split. It was more or less 2,5 years ago. I’ve always had fun stretching. I will even risk to say that it was my favourite part of every PE class back in the days (and believe me, I used to hate PE classes in general).

One day I decided to  find a yoga studio. I really wanted to start doing yoga. I tried in the past and I loved that. It appeared the yoga studio was way too far to get my lazy butt out of the house. It was winter and Poland is a damn cold country. Please don’t blame me.

The next thing I did was YT research. That’s how some yoga videos came up.

As I said – I had tried yoga before  – I attended a few great classes in the city centre of Warsaw, conducted by experienced yogis and yoginas. It was a few years earlier and I went there with my good friend. Unfortunately it turned out he didn’t enjoy yoga, as much as me though.

 
 

Before I got to know about Meditation

The final nail in the coffin to our Friday yoga evenings was one time we attended Gong Yoga.

We didn’t fully read the description of the class before arriving. That’s why we were quite surprised when we arrived.

We had to lie down for 1,5 h in the yoga shala full of people snoring and/or breathing VERY heavily. Apart from that we were of course listening to the deeep sounds of gongs.

I can’t really remember well my feelings back then. One thing I remember clearly – we got completely freaked out.  We found it very hard not to start laughing our asses of aloud as well.

Callow us then, unfamiliar with any kind of meditation practices… We didn’t appreciate the soothing sounds of gongs at all. We ended up giggling, later totally bored and afterwards also sleepy on a Friday evening. Real drama for a 2nd grade students. We kinda sleepwalked home as far, as I remember. No party people. Not that memorable Friday.

My friend gave up on yoga classes after this weird experience. So did I.

When I didn’t have with whom to go for me it was done. Just like this. The reason for that was that I enjoyed doing things away from home, only in a company of others.

How to achieve a split not leaving the house?

 

One day it had all came back to me with a wish to achieve a split. The goal was even closer, considering the power of high-speed internet connection, which allowed me to first of all – stay home while taking my classes and secondary – save money.
Yay!
 
Two factors of a high priority for my student’s schedule and budget.
 

Being a typical homebody and at the same time staying away from home most of the time during the week, each hour added outside of the beloved place in the Old Town of Warsaw, seemed like a punishment. In an opposite to yoga trainings in general.

Yoga Motivation

In the meantime I met many people, who told me, that they couldn’t motivate themselves to excersise from home. For me it was an opposite, as I couldn’t motivate myself to leave the house on the way to excersise.
 

It’s fascinating when you think about it deeper and realize, how much do we all differ from each other. And there is nothing bad about it of course.

As far, as I practice, I realized that the key is to find your own motivation, own pace, own way and your own reasons to start. Not only yoga. It applies to everything in general.
 
What’s the most important is to figure it all out your own way. Only that will allow you to stick to the routine for long time.
 
Some people are motivated to lose weight. It was not my motivation at the first place. I know everyone wants to be skinny to be able to eat as much as possible. Although as soon, as I learnt not to focus during the day on “what to eat” – essential question, weight was never a problem anymore. Anyway I was quite sure that as little, as one 15 – 20 minutes video a day will not change much in this matter.
 
I will be honest with you – I didn’t even practice everyday. Sometimes there was no time at all and there were days when I arrived home way too tired, not willing to do anything apart from getting straight into my bed. Exactly there, where all the intense day has painfully started on early morning hours.

 

My main motivation fits very well into “sensitive subjects category”. Although as it’s not sensitive for me anymore, I can easily share it with you. I think revealing “real stuff” may help others to find their way. I think it’s important to speak up.
 
I hope after this intro you are perfectly ready to get to know about all the “real stuff”.
 
I started to practice yoga because I decided to get rid off meds. Anti – depressants I was taking for… You don’t want to know how long I was taking them. Lately I was surprised myself when I did the proper counting. I used to think it was 3 years. Unfrotunately it was even longer.
 
Glorious MAO Inhibitors (that doctors are scared to prescribe currently) allowed me to make it to the point, where my life became slightly easier with a great help of the closest people.
 
Ironically enough, I was not far from getting my master’s degree in Neuropsychology. I was very passionate about brain and its biochemistry. In the meantime I was digging through scientific articles I had access to through the univeristy’s online database. I saw papers claiming the obvious benefits of excersises for the brain, for learning, depression. It was not only according to yoga. All kinds of excersises make you a better human in the end (let’s leave juicy details for later, if you are very curious check out sources below)

Yoga + Brain: a Killer Combo

Believe me. It was a discovery. I put myself in a 30-days challenge to achieve a split but also stability. Stillness of mind. My mind was always way too busy. I found it hard to focus to prepare to my exams. Even watching movies was a struggle in those days… I just couldn’t focus for longer on anything. All the worrying and overthinking was a part of my everyday reality. What’s even worse, I was most probably also unable to ever fully rest.

One thing was sure – I didn’t want to take medicines anymore. I wanted to manage my mood by myself.

All I got was a yoga matt from Lidl for the amount of 4 euro. I’ve never managed to find such a cheap yoga matt ever again. The price was here the main factor. Don’t ask about the quality of my happy purchase. Looking at it’s price, you just know it.

Back then it was totally enough.

Finally I should proceed to the amazing discovery I made. I found a yoga channel on YT – Boho Beautiful. It was love from the first sight. I enjoyed everything about it. Short videos were a great fit for me to start with. One video was never too long. Even though sometimes they were freaking exhausting for a beginner. I was so happy to finish every short video. At the start I was focused on the split challenge.
It was said very clearly that to get results, you need to train everyday. So I was trying my best.
 
After 2 months of practice I started getting impatient, as my splits didn’t seem to work. I get bored easily. I was craving to change the routine. I started checking out other videos as well and… that’s how I got addicted to yoga.
 
Believe me, daily practice (or at least intentions and determination, not to skip more than 2 or 3 days from time to time) appeard GOLDEN.
 
Boho Beautiful makes everything the best way possible. She is killing the “yoga videos” category on YT. Her videos and my determination allowe me to take my mind off the grey reality. Taking her short classes and joining in at the amazing, tropical locations. It was a real upgrade to the yoga videos industry, I bet. I’m wondering how no one has thought about that earlier.
 
Yoga practice gave that soothing feeling for the busy mind. These days I was only looking forward to graduation. I was impatient to leave the country I was born and used to live in all my life. Isn’t that super boring to never change the spot? The need for relocation was tempting. It was also a part of the master plan to let go everything, that didn’t serve me anymore.

Things to leave behind

Every person has some events in their life that happen to better be forgotten. Sometimes it’s really hard to do so and that’s where yoga and meditation come in charge. They teach us to be patient with ourselves, to accept. The stress released is confirmed by a bunch of research. As a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology, I totally recommend it to everyone.

 
Practicing yoga and meditation let us grow on so many levels. I understood all that just by following the videos. Even though the initial goal was to get involved in any sport activity. Soothing voice of a yoga teacher and messages transferred by her made aware that there is much more to the whole story.

Carl Jung about Yoga

I can tell you that it’s probably not a coincidence that one of the first western people to practice yoga in Europe was a psychologist – Carl Gustav Jung. The founder of analytical psycholog started enjoying benefits of yoga during interwar period. His testimonial about this kind of practice practice was:

“Yoga is the eloquent expression of the Indian mind and at the same time instrument continually used to produce this peculiar attitude of mind”

“Yoga must on no account be under – estimated, if only because of its antiquity and the number of its adherants”
– found in Modern Psychology.
 
“A real knowledge of yoga is very rare in the West. I felt quite small when I became acquianted with these things”
– found in Visions Seminar
 
 “Yoga is the oldest practical philosophy in India; it is the mother of psychology and philosophy which are one and the same thing in India”Modern Psychology
 
Jung comes also with a warning:
 “I say to whomsoever I can – study yoga – you will learn an infinite amount from it – but do not apply it…”

Why Yoga Art?

As you already know yoga took me out from shit.
Can’t express how thankful I am to ol Indians for developing such cure and such pleasure at the same time.
 
I can tell you one more thing about stressed mind. Preoccupied mind struggles to be creative. How hard is it to come up with ideas, while you are busy overthinking your reality. 
 
I faced this problem too well. I gave up creative studies. I decided it’s not for me. At the time I explained to myself I’m not made to be creative. I was not a creative person, even though I wanted. Creativity was stored, like in a can. Supressed by negative thinking.
 
Looking back I realized it was a period. Anyway creativity is something you can train. It’s a bit like with yoga practice. You get better over the time. The crucial thing is to keep going.
 
It took me long time to get back to my interests. They were lying covered with dust in the corner of my brain. I was “interested” only in what I was naturally forced to. Which were my studies and work. The rest was just a fog. I didn’t even watch any series on Netflix (probably it didn’t exist yet but whatever). I guess I have even mentioned that to you already.
 
Another thing I regained by practicing yoga is motivation and willingness to make art. It has inspired me and helped me to get back what I loved to do. In all the darkness I decided that something has died in me. This something was undoubtedly an artist.
 
I will not say a passion for art, as it was all the time there. I was just not really able to create ideas, I would like. Nor able to execute them. My mind was a stone. A very unhappy one.
I guess everyone is already tired of reading this manifesto. I will put shortly, that for sure is already clear.
 
Yoga brought back my positive thinking, relaxation and motivation. The thing is that if you can motivate yourself to practice, you can pass it on any other activity. This is a very important part.
 
Your brain creates dopamine, everytime you progress – you touch the floor, you keep the balance, you manage to do a headstand. There are still things in yoga I can’t do. By the way the most funny thing is that I still can’t do the full split. It’s close, although still not there yet. Wish me the best 🙂
 
So for last 2,5 year I provided myself with natural dopamine flushes. I started seeing things in bright colours again. Last but not least I started making art again. It’s hard to express how much I LOVE YOGA. Probably everyone around has already told himself that there’s no hope for this girl. She is a yoga freak. Yoga psycho.
 
Actually I like to call myself a yogi. It says enough.
 
If you still reading it, please enjoy every day and don’t let the rainy clouds to throw you off the track. Life is full of meaning and there’s so much to discover. Not only in the world but also in ourselves. Don’t miss the chance to get to know your best self.
I consider yoga is one of many ways to achieve the better self. Enlightment of the cloudy sky.
 
I hope knowing all that you can enjoy my art activity much more. Your feedback is always welcome.
 
Please enjoy and also come back soon. Come back from time to time, as I will be developing this site.
 
The general plan is to develop the creativity and prepare special things for all other the yogis. I truly believe that yoga art can encourage to start or continue the practice. If not that, my other goal to create beauty influenced by modern times and modern technologies.
 
Surrounding yourself with beauty is another way to keep yourself happy and relaxed.
 
Let’s keep that in mind to appreciate and make sure to take the most of the life we got.
 
Namaste 🙂
 

Sources:

“Yoga as a Treatment for Depression”
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-97241-1_17

The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies”
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2009.0044

“Yoga for Trauma and Related Mental Health Problems: A Meta-Review With Clinical and Service Recommendations”
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1524838015620834

“Mental health promotion for young people -the case for yoga in schools”
http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/177474/1/177474.pdf