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Charmaine – Awareness (3/6)

We’re almost at the end of YTTC, and today was one of the last times we would flow though Jessica’s sequence together as a class. The last few weeks of my practice before YTTC, I was just going through the motions, very much focused on the physical aspects of yoga and how I “have to” strengthen and condition my body, but today’s asana practice reminded me that yoga really is a union of body, mind, and soul. What makes yoga different from any other kind of (similar) exercise- dance, calisthenics, gymnastics, or contortion?

I think it lies in the intention, and the growth of awareness that goes beyond the physical.

There was a better clarity of mind, and an awareness of movement and breath that I had today that wasn’t present when I was obsessively attending classes. The strength that I built in YTTC is a lot more subtle, effective, and permeates through everything– my other workouts, or the way I carry myself (Jessica’s reuccuring “tuck your ribs!!!” is now etched into my brain), and generally just the way I look at yoga and life.

Even off the mat, I’m now better able to control the fluctuations in my mind- not easy as a Pitta :’). Tracking the progression of mental health isn’t as clear-cut or as obvious as physical progress, and I’m definitely nowhere near Samadhi, but I’m closer to connecting with the truth of who I am and why I do what I do. The effort in making small, positive changes grounded in this awareness hasn’t gone unnoticed, and I’m glad that this is the aspect (rather than the cool asanas or the weight loss) that pushes the people around me to give yoga a try too.