Taking Control Of Your Life Through Yoga

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“When I was younger, I can vividly remember going to a yoga class with my mom, laying in savasana, eyes wide open, fingers and toes fidgeting, and being so annoyed that my mom found it “fun” to lay quietly with a room full of people doing the same thing. I felt like I had way better things to be doing than “napping while trying to stay awake.” I just didn’t get it. This attitude around yoga kept me sceptical toward the practice for many years.

Throughout high school and middle school, I participated in various sports – tennis, volleyball, and track, and was a generally active kid. These hobbies fizzled out when I went to college, and I found myself itching for a new way to stay active that didn’t involve playing on a team or signing up for a club activity. I liked the freedom of yoga classes, and the way yoga helped me to connect with myself. I guess you could say that it was in those yoga classes that I discovered the meaning of the body-mind connection. 

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Articulating thoughts and feelings with words has always been difficult for me, but the impact of my first hot power yoga class gave me a sensation so powerful that I finally began to understand the concept of listening to my body and the importance of sharing these discoveries of the body-mind connection. Lying there in savasana in a pool of my own sweat, I felt thoroughly exhausted, and yet, I felt strong. It was clear to me, no questions or doubts. Based on my form and strength, you could say it didn’t go very well - I didn’t know the name of most poses, and those I did know, I couldn’t hold for very long. I spent most of class panting because I couldn’t catch my breath, and I could barely see because sweat had dripped into my eyes so many times. Despite all of this, my body was rejoicing, buzzing, and full of energy. I got to the end of class, and I smiled to myself because I had gotten there all by myself.

This feeling of accomplishment wasn’t something I had ever experienced playing a team sport or performing an instrument on stage. It was a new sense of self-awareness, and for the first time I found myself saying “good job,” rather than “you should’ve done better.” I was hooked.

After college, I moved to Houston, Texas. Because I didn’t know the layout of the city very well, I found myself in all corners of Houston trying out new yoga studios. Some had carpet, others had concrete floors. Some were in a room heated above 105 degrees, others weren’t warm enough and we barely moved. All were okay, but I knew my practice was missing something. Then I found BIG Power Yoga.

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After my first 30-day trial, I signed up to become a member at BIG. I soon learned that BIG was so much more than just a building that offered phenomenal yoga classes. BIG is a community that offers diverse ways to explore and discover your own yoga journey, on your own time, however that may look. In December 2015, I was encouraged by a teacher to consider BIG’s 200-hour yoga teacher training. I didn’t have any astounding reason except that my body was telling me it was time. I tear up even thinking about my decision to sign up for BIG’s teacher empowerment program because it was one of the best decisions I could have made for my life at that time.

The trainings and programs at BIG were the first time I started taking full responsibility for my own actions. Most of my life, I had played the victim to my “problems,” and hadn’t sought help because I felt they were hopeless and impossible to fix. BIG empowered me to make choices in my life that lead me to living a happier life.

Yoga now isn’t just a hobby, or something I check off my list each day. It’s a lifestyle, and it is a necessary part of living my life. It’s second nature, natural, and just like food or water, something that will always be necessary in my life.”

 

This blogpost was written by Neat pal & Yogi Eliza Ogaswara. Follow her on Instagram at @yogi_liza.

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