The day I finally rolled out my yoga mat three years ago, my life changed for the better.
Unlike the other times in my life I had given yoga a try, this time I became hooked for real. The timing was right and the circumstances were ideal. The Satya Yoga studio was utterly charming with bucolic views of surrounding mountains and greenery; our teacher, Rachelle, was a masterful yogi with energy I quickly connected to, and I needed something to soothe my nervous system and calm my anxious mind.
Now that I practice yoga regularly three to four times a week, I honestly have no clue how I ever managed to function as a human being without it.
Yoga has transformed my life in countless ways. In addition to reducing my stress levels and soothing my monkey mind, it has enhanced my overall wellbeing. It has helped me manage my chronic illness (Crohn’s Disease) in ways I never thought possible, and is also extremely beneficial to my writing career.
Yoga has given me focus, expanded my creativity, and, more importantly, has helped me get over some unhealthy attachments. Because the practice of yoga is about connecting with the priceless treasures we hold inside ourselves as opposed to grasping for material things outside, it has allowed me to cut ties with my pattern of mindless spending on things that have little meaning. It has taken me a very long time to grasp this valuable lesson.
The truth is I used to spend ridiculous amounts of money and energy chasing material things: designer clothes, shoes, handbags and countless other stuff. Deep down, I imagined it could fill a void. But it did not. It only created an even greater one.
Yoga put me on the path of clearing out my old, worn-out way of thinking, including the emotional baggage that was pushing me to constantly strive for more and to buy and accumulate so much stuff I didn’t need. It also put me on a path of wanting to remedy the situation that caused me so much pain. I became curious about eco-fashion, responsible consumption and conscious spending. In addition to it being the topic of a recent novel, it’s also the topic of a new blog: Soulful Couture. To my surprise, I’ve become an eco-warrior, promoting the importance of protecting our planet by consuming less and caring more.
By scaling back and asking the tough questions: where does this item come from, who made it and in what conditions? I feel that I’m contributing to making the world a better place.
Now more than ever, the planet needs us to pay attention and make more conscious choices. This is where yoga comes in and plays a significant role. If the word yoga means union of body, mind, and spirit, it also relates to our connection to Mother Nature, which is a precious, priceless and fragile one indeed.