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What is Yoga and Why I do I practice it? » Empowered Women's Channel

I am Jessica and after several incredible epiphanies and life experiences, I feel I’ve received more than sufficient answers to my questions. I’m not an enlightened being, not a guru, not even close. I grew up in a Christian home, and was always taught the principles of kindness by my parents. Although I felt a very powerful spiritual force in my life, I was confused by all the rules of religion, but I didn’t know that anything else existed. I am just a person, moved to share my experiences and discoveries, and learn from others.

What yoga means to me…

Yoga to me is a chance to push myself physically, detoxify my body, heal myself from the daily stagnation of office life; and most of all for me, yoga is a journey inward. A single pose can tell me where my mind has been all day and what those repetitive thoughts have led me to believe about myself. Sometimes it’s an expression of a “positive thought day” where I’m inspired and encouraged. My practice feels confident, stable, and explorative. Other days it becomes clear that I’ve been cycling some negative, self-defeating thoughts. I feel like I’m on a rocking boat. I have very little desire to push myself physically or challenge myself to expand and explore.

These are the unconscious thoughts that come to the surface even during the first few minutes of a class. What I’ve discovered is, if I’ve had a “negative thought day”, I can sometimes turn it around within the hour of class. Sometimes it’s an inspiring teacher or particular music, sometimes I can just let go of it all and be in a place of relief, and sometimes I’m swept up by the energy in the room and the recognition that we’re all here living through this moment together.

When I’m in a positive state of mind, I’m focused and energized and feel that the next level of each pose is within my grasp. That is when my outward practice excels and I can reach further, hold longer, and feel inspired to try new things.

Why do I do yoga?

It’s one of those things that will never be mastered. There is always a next level. There’s never a final destination; as in life. I do yoga for the process of meeting myself over and over again on my mat with the opportunity to start again, as my lighter, clearer self and to carry that intention with me until it’s forgotten. But then once again, I appear on my mat, facing the mirror to remember it all again; hopefully keeping a little more of the learned lesson each time. I do yoga to be a better self, as well as remember that there is a better self-calling for me- waiting for me to calm down and hear her.