How Yoga Changed Everything
Posted on July 08 2019
We live in an age that is notorious for a fast pace, infinite time and energy demands (work, school, social life, creative pursuits, etc.), and constant pressure from the external world for one to “fit” into the parameters of what a “good” or “successful” life looks like based on what is presented by others in the world of social media. It is often so overwhelming, when we look at all of these factors, to know how to spend our time, where to invest our energy, and, perhaps most noteworthy of all -- what will provide our real self, our inner self, with true happiness and joy. As a girl who enjoys the hustle of constant activity and a jam-packed social- and work-life schedule, I have felt this pressure many times and can remember countless moments when I looked around and threw my hands up, unsure of the “right” thing to do for myself with my time. Does this sound familiar?
Life moves fast. It’s true. And with technology and recent exponential increase of globalization and access to information that the internet provides, overwhelm seems to exist in any direction we look. I have seen far too many wide-eyed, excited young women with lust for life and compassionate hearts who wish to positively impact the planet stop doing their work and listening to their souls because the mixed messages coming from all directions were simply too much. I believe that all people reach a moment, at one point or another, where they feel exhausted, drained, and no longer know which ‘voice’ to listen to, which advice to take to heart - and which words and philosophy even came from within to begin with.
Personally, the whole game changed when I found yoga.
Yoga is presented in the modern, westernized world as a peaceful, light exercise ritual that yields a notable increase in flexibility, strength, balance, and (subjectively) a feeling of inner peace. But the truth behind yoga speaks to the soul on a much deeper level, and is actually a practice whose “goal”, so-to-speak, is to find inner union and harmony between mind, body, and spirit. In doing so, one may sit back and watch life and relationships with the external world simply fall into flow.
Personally, I credit where I’m at today to the development of my own relationship to the practice (i.e. my relationship to my true self). I currently live in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi where I am completing my degree in Health & Wellness at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. When I am not in school, I find immense joy in teaching yoga classes both in-person and online, connecting with nature, deepening my own spiritual practice, and challenging my mind and body in new ways every day. I have found an amazing group of friends who inspire me daily as we lift each other up and grow towards the light in our own unique creative pursuits and expressions. I travel often and am constantly amazed and humbled by new opportunities that seem to flow towards me from many different directions. I am living my dream every day… and I truly credit it all to finding my connection to yoga.
While this might sound a little strange (or even absurd), this all comes back to the inner peace and clarity that yoga promotes. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, the oldest written text that mentions yoga and dates back roughly 5,000 years, the goal of yoga is meditation, or to achieve a meditative state. Patañjali explains that this state is accessible through the process of stilling the mind quieting the ego, and calming the senses until one can see with full clarity the “true Self”. This true Self is beyond all drama, confusion, emotion, and even relationships and life story. When one finds the true Self, one can meet this Self (you can think of it as the ‘soul’) and establish a relationship with the spirit that is our core essence. And this spirit is the same spirit that runs through and connects, unites, all beings in the Universe -- and exists in a constant state of true bliss, joy, and unconditional love.
In the process of finding an opening to communication with my true self, my soul, all of the logistical aspects of life simply began to fall into place. In continuing to deepen my self-awareness through yoga, I find that I have a guide to reference when making any decision, big or small. And every little decision matters because every little decision creates our life.
Yoga has taught me that, above all else, my true self wants nothing but to help me find bliss here on Earth, every single day. So, I allow her (AKA, my true Self) to be my guide. So far, she has brought me exactly where I need to be, and I always arrive there right on time.
If you are reading this and are beginning your own yoga journey, already have a practice, or have never done yoga a day in your life, my only advice to you is to take a deep breath, allow yourself the stillness that you deserve, and observe. Begin to listen to your inner voice, your intuition. Do not discredit the messages that appear in your heart, mind, or simply in the world around you as “coincidence” or “meaningless”. Allow your body to move in organic ways that just feel good. Eat the foods your body craves. Spend time with the people who fill your heart with love until it overflows into everything that you do. Allow yourself to rest when you need it, and to try “crazy” new activities, adventures, and ways of being when you feel so called.
Find stillness, and knock on the inner door. You just may find that your true Self is there waiting for you with a smiling face and eyes full of unconditional love.
Taryn Bond, RYT-200
Owner of Flows with T
Co-host of Let it Flow Podcast