Yoga is a sacred practice. And the more I mindfully practice, the more immersed I am in my spirituality. I step onto my yoga mat every morning, because yoga balances my whole being and helps me to be centered.
Yoga touches my ancient spirit. I believe that people pick up where they left off in their previous life. I was a yogi, and I will always be a yogi. I envision my eternal teachers showing up in my current life, encouraging and supporting my lifelong study of yoga.
I took a study abroad trip to India in 2015. India is the spiritual capital of the world, and yoga originated there. I remember my first day of yoga classes, sitting in the expansive yoga hall, listening to the angel-like chanting. I felt mystical and timeless. It was the universal energy that I could feel in the smoky air that made my yoga practice in India so special. I was mindful and connected with everyone and everything. Like quantum physics, I could tap into the unified field. I felt a great joy to be alive, and I understood that my life has a purpose.
One of the spiritual paths of a yogi is through service (karma yoga). Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, a guru in India, says, “Let your selfless service be your prayer and your meditation.” Yoga isn’t about the ego; it’s about sharing your wisdom and skills with the world.
As a yogi who practices karma yoga, I volunteer at a mindfulness center. I teach yoga once a week and teach yoga during the meditation retreats. Also, a significant part of my selfless service is working with the dying as a hospice massage therapist. Yoga and meditation help me to stay calm and remain in the present moment with my patients. I honor each patient with silent prayers as my hands gently bless the body and soul.
Yoga helps me control my mind and body. B. K. S. Iyengar, a renowned yoga teacher, states, “Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels.” These channels are the chakras. Iyengar continues to say in his book, Light on Yoga, that “chakra means a nerve center, the fly-wheels in the machine, that is human the body.” My recent exploration is working more intensely with yoga and the chakras.
The chakras are like the strings on a violin and yoga is the tuning fork. Yoga balances all the chakras in the body. When I balance my chakras, I feel in rhythm with life. Life is challenging, but I find solace when I step onto my yoga mat. Yoga is a blessing, and I dedicate myself to the sacred practice.