Thinking about starting your Yoga practice this new year? You might want to hear about the experience of Greesha, who was in your shoes just about a year ago. A year later, i.e., currently, Yoga has changed her life massively. So much so that she is planning her month-long journey to Rishikesh in search of more knowledge about the discipline from the gurus themselves.
In a conversation with SocialBoat, Greesha tells us how she learned Yoga on her own and what you should do if you are also heading down the same path. More importantly, she tells us what you SHOULDN’T DO if you want to learn Yoga the right way.
- Transition to and Balancing Yoga with Strength Training
When Greesha began her journey towards fitness, it was with strength training. During that time, Greesha was struggling with some digestion problems, and to help with that, she started Yoga. She started reading and took up some asanas that would help her on a daily basis and from then on, she only went further and further in her journey with Yoga.
“I felt so connected to my body and mind and the 30-35 minutes when I was doing Yoga was the best time of my day.”
Practicing Yoga did not alter Greesha’s love for strength training, it only helped her balance her routine better. Even though she still practices both, Yoga has taken up more space in her life. Currently, Greesha is acing through both of them by giving 40 minutes to strength training, and one-hour of asana practice, every day in the morning. In addition to this, she begins her day with 45 minutes of pranayam and meditation.
2. Cutting Down on Everything Extra
Greesha was managing her full-time job, workout and yoga practice and an Instagram handle where she posts regularly, all at once. On being asked the secret to such multitasking capabilities, she says,
“When you follow a discipline in your life, slowly it becomes a lifestyle. For example, if you don’t go on your mat, or touch your weights for even one day after you have formed a habit, you will feel like something is missing.”
Moreover, Yoga became Greesha’s passion and she could feel its positive effects on her life.
“My body was happy and healthy all the time and there was no need for anything additional to make me happy.”
Greesha didn’t feel the need to depend on any external pleasures for happiness like going out, entertainment, etc, and as she says, she wasn’t “living for Fridays anymore.”
3. Discovering Yourself Throughout
Greesha, who finds her solace in Sufi music, believes that “finding yourself” is not a destination that you can arrive at, but rather a journey where you keep discovering new things about your dynamic selves. For instance, after about six months of practicing Yoga Greesha unveiled her compassion and her confidence. Earlier she would look at other people for reassuring and acknowledging her decisions but now she noticed that she didn’t need that anymore. She did things not because people wanted her to but because she wanted to do them.
“I started living more mindfully and my immune system became much stronger. I became the minimalist person that I always wanted to be.”
But she also reinstates that it takes at latest that much time for you to notice these changes. You have to dedicate a minimum of six months at least to notice how Yoga has changed you.
4. Pros and Cons of Self-practice
A self-learner of Yoga, Greesha has come a long way from where she started one year ago. Talking about her experience of learning Yoga on her own she says,
“There are pros and cons of everything. Self-learning is great because you get to learn at your own pace and get familiar with your body in the process. However, one should remember that Yoga isn’t just about asanas. It is a holistic discipline that heals both the mind and the body. And Yoga gurus, the learned experts of the discipline definitely play a part in helping you connect to yourself and to the world spiritually through Yoga.”
Yoga teaching channels on YouTube are obviously helpful for practicing the asanas daily on your own but Greesha chose to rather start learning more from books. Books are better researched and hence succeed better at conveying the central sentiment of Yoga. Greesha herself started learning from this book called Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Sathyananda which starts from the basic asanas that focus on joint movements and help you prepare your body for more advanced Yoga asanas.
Once again stressing the importance of learning from books, Greesha further suggests learning from books by Indian authors like Krishnamacharya, K. Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar.
Greesha says that her Yoga journey has only started and she has a long way to go. She recently quit her job and is now focusing all her energy on learning more and more about Yoga practice. In January 2022, she is going to Rishikesh for a month to gain knowledge and hopefully start her Yoga reaching by the month of March.
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