Yoga Sutra 1:2 Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind
Translation: Yoga calms the racing mind. By the time I was 19 I had endured many forms of abuse as a child. To say Yoga changed my life is an understatement. Asana, the physical practice on our mats, is only one of the 8 aspects of Yoga in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is widely believed that through the practice on our mats, the other 7 aspects of Yoga come naturally. Hence the famous quote “99% Practice, 1% Theory” by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, founder of Ashtanga Yoga. Composed of 4 sections and 196 sayings, these Yoga Sutras give the practioner a blueprint of what is to be gained by participating in this “thing” we call Yoga.
When I began my yoga practice at age 29, my mind raced all the time. I was so fearful of life that I had a backup plan for every relationship and life scenario possible…“just in case” the worst was to happen. Having said that, I can honestly say that surprisingly, I didn’t begin Yoga to calm my mind, be more flexible, become less stressed or any of the typical reasons one might hear about on a normal basis. I’m not sure why I began. But those things began to happen, so I stayed on course.
In 2009 I took my first Yoga teacher training and was introduced to the other 7 aspects of Yoga. If this practice has taught me anything it is that I am not scared anymore. Sure, I worry and have doubts about certain things just like everyone else does. But I do not let fear paralyze me. Through the practice of Yoga, I gradually learned to do poses on my mat that I never thought possible. Yes it sounds superficial and some would argue “that’s not what Yoga is about.” And I fully agree. But for me, when I realized I could do something with my physical body that I never thought possible, it translated itself into miracles with my mind and spirit I never thought possible. I took what I learned on the mat off the mat, and that has made all the difference.
By April Cannon
April is a teacher at Om Yoga, she is known for her strong Ashtanga inspired classes, and for giving students wonderful assists throughout her classes!