YOGA – TRANSFORMATION OF THE MIND, BODY AND SOUL
By Gayatri Pathak
Yoga students often look up to their teachers as Gurus, spiritual leaders or even masters. This is very true; however, people often forget that it isn’t the teacher that is holy but the yogic lifestyle the teacher emerged from that is sacred and life altering. Yoga helped me find my purpose in life. I have been practicing yoga ever since I was introduced to it, as a child, by my father. Yoga always provided me with comfort and a sense of grounding, as it connected me to my Indian roots. Yoga gave me stability and a very solid sense of presence.
At the time that I began my yoga teacher training, I was still working in the corporate field. I was living two lives. One, which showed me the true capacity of my mind and body, was guiding me to become a stronger, calmer and positive woman. And another, which made me feel negative energy and drained me, leaving me void. Yoga is a whole different world where you feel inner peace and calmness, whereas there is so much competition and stress in the corporate world. It was at that point of realization that I decided to leave the corporate world and discover myself through the yogic lifestyle. I became a yoga teacher and Reiki master in early 2018.
After leaving my corporate life for good, I completely immersed in my yoga teacher training (YTT 200-hours). I embarked on the path that my father had shown me as a little girl. I truly believe that yoga is my purpose on this earth. Yoga is like the ocean, you can learn as much as you want but never be satisfied. Yoga has shown me my purpose, and now I will continue on its path for the remainder of my life, as the lifestyle guides me towards an infinite number of possibilities for me to better my life and others’ lives as well. Yoga is the beginning of my new life, my real life.
You can grow your own knowledge by spreading knowledge to other people. In April 2018, I started my own studio in Brampton called Yoga4U and become a full-time yoga and Reiki teacher.
Yoga teaches us to live in each moment. We aren’t aware of our breathing. We never breathe deeply and calmly because we are always in a rush. Life goes by so fast, we all need to take a pause. A pause to breathe, a pause to think or even a pause to feel. Everyone lives their lives holding onto so much stress and burden that we are unable to recognize and give importance to our wellbeing. By practicing yoga every single day, I now realize I myself have wasted 44 years of my life. By doing pranayama and other yogic breathing exercises every day, I am now able to breathe deeply and completely. Our each and every breath is vital for our survival and is our main source of life. If we continue to avoid breathing to our full capacity, we are not completely alive.
The average person in this world notices the negative over the positive. I was once one of these people. I allowed my stress to get the better of me and lived my daily life picking apart the negativity in my surroundings. However, once I began yoga, it completely transformed my train of thought and the way I perceived life. It changed me mentally, physically and brought out far more spirituality in me than I could have ever have imagined.
Spirituality can sometimes scare people; however, there is a misconception with the term. Spiritualty doesn’t have to be concerned with the divine, but it does have to do with our inner self. It is all about perspective. Yoga benefits a person’s inner spirituality by cleansing the soul of negativity and blossoming a positive mindset that reflects in one’s lifestyle. It makes you realize that not everything is black or white, but that there is a whole spectrum of beautiful colours which make up our lives. Yoga teaches us to let go of the negative train of thought and grasp each moment positively, with a smile.
Everyone has fears and multiple stressors that arise during their daily lives, such as financial stress, social fears, insecurities etc. However, yoga teaches those real life lessons, which bring disciple, confidence and an element of fearlessness, that allow us to realize we can conquer anything we set our minds to.
I was always a very quiet and timid person who never spoke out in crowds. During this beautiful, life altering journey, I have learned to stand up for myself and have become much more confident. Confident about my beliefs, my appearance and my mind. I feel tall from inside, like nothing can tear me down. Many people don’t accept themselves for who they are, whether it is their appearance, family, culture or nature. Yoga teaches a huge life lesson which is acceptance. Accepting yourself for who you are and accepting situations which cannot be altered. Yoga is all about moving forward and seeing beyond the expectations. Instead of occupying ourselves and draining our energy, the yogic lifestyle teaches us to transform our minds to become invincible warriors.
Yoga is inherited from the Holy book, The Bhagavad Gita. Each and every asana teaches us something that can be directly linked to a situation or element from our daily lives. During my yoga practice and the yoga classes I teach, I feel the pose mentally, physically and spiritually. For example, Warrior poses teach us that life itself is a battleground and we all are warriors. The Tree pose teaches us to stay grounded, even if there is a storm in our lives, and to never lose focus. I have started seeing life through the yogic vision.
Yoga is my purpose in life. It transformed me into a confident, outspoken and positive person and refreshed my lifestyle to become more healing and steady. I have dedicated my life to helping others who, like me, are being drained by the fast paced lifestyle and to helping them along the yogic path to develop control over their mind and bodies.
Yoga benefits everyone to transition to a stress-free life and to become far more aware of each moment. It helps you appreciate yourself and your surroundings and welcome the world with open arms. It is the holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Yoga brings you one step closer to fulfillment and harmony. Yoga is not just an exercise but a lifestyle in its entirety. Through its journey, it brings our minds down to our hearts and eventually to our souls. Yoga is a gift that everyone should accept as it embodies the unity of the mind, body and soul.
My new life as a yogi has just begun. I hope more of you join me on this beautiful journey.