Yoga & Self-discovery

You are probably reading this column while waiting for an appointment, a meeting, or simply at home sprawled on your couch. Take a moment here and look within yourself to see if you carry any sense of incompletion. If your answer is yes, rest assured that you are not alone. The ability to achieve a discerning, self-aware mind is no longer a quality of monks, the advent of yoga in the modern world has implored us to look within ourselves and realize our unitive state.

Today the word ‘yoga’ has become synonymous with exercise, in effect changing the very essence of the ancient art of living. As a word, ‘Yoga’ loosely translates to ‘union’, but with continued practice, the ultimate goal is to achieve a sustained state of awareness that helps us realize our true selves. Every ‘asana’ becomes a milestone in this journey inwards, as our bodies are one of the biggest distractions. Remember that time when you were comatose in ‘Savasana’ but that one itch on your back shook you out of a meditative state? Well, that is exactly what proponents of this ancient philosophy believe that you must prepare your body in a way such that your mind is not distracted. One of the renowned yogic texts says that you must bake your body in the fire of yoga, for you can achieve your highest self only in a healthy mind and body. In the weeks to come, I will continue to talk about various asanas, philosophy, and yogic nutrition. But for now, I want to delve deeper into the concept of self-discovery. Union with ourselves can sometimes be as sacred as the union with the divine. Reorientating our world views and experiencing the interconnection of our mind and body is truly an enriching experience.

How Do I Look Within?

Most of us spend an eternity drowning ourselves in self-criticism. The first step toward self-discovery begins with the thought ‘I am enough’. It may sound simple at first, but the story you have been telling yourself will slowly begin to evolve and change. Make it the mantra of your life, practice it, breathe it, live it. Life is too short to live outside your own story, the quest for flawlessness is unrelenting and exhausting, so stop what you are doing now and look inwards for a moment. And as the days roll into weeks, map a meaningful connection with yourself, begin by owning your story and walking your truth.

Trauma and deep-rooted emotional wounds are the invisible forces that design our lives. Yoga brings much-needed respite, and the physical practice of asanas allows you to connect with yourself and your body. Your personal growth and journey in self-discovery will come from attending to your own needs with compassion. The journey inwards may bring significant pain, loss, heartbreak, and agony but it is one worth taking up.

Written By: Priyanka Ganguly

(A fully qualified yoga teacher based in Goa, Priyanka Ganguly founded Yoga Inc 18, an online yoga studio. She hopes to simplify yoga for householders and children. Her ubiquitous passion for life and yoga makes it impossible to leave her class without feeling uplifted.)

Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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