I use to say only a mantra in Sanskrit before and after each practice, understanding but not feeling truly what I was uttering, even though I knew its message based on what an internet instructor told me (I chose Ashtanga Yoga style as a guide to develop my own personal Yoga practice.) Now, beginning a little over 2 years ago, I say my own prayer, related in some way to the mantra, and to my current situation, of gratitude and guidance. Then in the closing, I say a prayer for others, my family/friends, and the world. That has helped me understand the true essence of my practice, and why I began in the first place. So I am slowly, but steadily, integrating all the limbs of YOGA into my practice ‘on the mat’ (although it took nearly 3 years of practice before I owned a yoga mat lol though I do own one pair of yoga pants, that I rarely wear during my home practice) and in turn, will reflect in my life as a whole. I began this prayer because I realize I need some guidance in my life, the subtle guidance of the essence that makes up the universe’s entirety. This subtle awareness, that is always listening and waiting for our acknowledgement, is true encouragement in my life, and a space I can go to when I need clarity and to find my peace of mind.
The above paragraph, was written as a comment on a famous Yoga Instructor account on Instagram, and I saved it for future reference as a guide for a future blog post. The sentences in parenthesis are what I added now, as I am developing this post. Now, I understand why I saved the comment, and wanting to make a post around ‘Prayer’ or ‘intention’.
I recently, in December 2018 (after taking part in a ‘Yoga for Cat’s’ class at local Humane Society), I joined a Yoga Studio to begin Yoga classes, and to maybe make friends within the Yoga community. I chose to join a Yoga Studio because I felt I was wavering on my Yoga path. The past year and half, prior to December 2018, I struggled with my home practice, and lost some strength and flexibility because of it. However, after joining Studio Y, in my local city, my perspective on my Yoga practice changed, and I returned to the reason why I began Yoga.
[pic of me at Eat, Pray, Love, workshop, January 2019. I’m in the blue, looking over shoulder, front center]
I began my Yoga practice due to a yearning to understand myself on a deeper level, past the mental and physical, and to the spiritual. However, as my practice evolved and I learned the different aspects/area of Yoga, I realized its connection to Psychology, the workings of our mind, and our body. I learned, in its subtilty, the connection to science. I am learning to understand myself on a deeper level. I noticed, at this studio, many instructors have students present set an intention for the class, or a mantra. I realize, now, I was intuitively doing that in my home practice, as my practice deepened. Power of prayer, or setting an intention, I was reminded of once more. Gratitude and guidance, are always intentions that can be used in any practice, small daily reminders of life’s blessings, even in the ugly side of life.
Also, on another note, for another post, with my intuition as my guide, through the discovery of ‘Studio Y’, and my new found appreciation of the studio and Yoga Classes, I joined a Yoga Teacher Training (200hr), on January 26, 2019. Lots of discoveries have been made since the beginning of this year, and many more to come. Stay tuned! And look out for this future post, my next adventure, for personal growth and development, and possibly beyond.
Peace & Love ❤
P.S: If you would like, follow me on Instagram, @val.180
P.S.S: Instagram account to @studioyyoga and their website: Studio Y
Featured image found at: Contemplative Monk facebook page.