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How Yoga Helps Improve My Life

A few years ago, I changed my job and joined a new company that turned out to be hell. Indeed, there were positive moments there, however, overall, negative experience prevailed. Exactly at that very time I started practising yoga. Today, I am so grateful to that very moment I deeper into my practice, because otherwise I would not survive in that very company and either would immediately quit the job or have a nervous breakdown.

Here is how yoga improves and enriches my life

Yoga helps relieve stress

I started practising yoga once per week. In fact, I was forced to try it by a friend of mine that I am very grateful to. By that time, I had tried it once but did not really enjoy it. It turns out that it depends on teacher and his or her energy. So, I came in, rolled out my mat, and started my practice. I was so involved in what the teacher was speaking about. She was very quiet, but full of charisma and strength. I was full of thoughts and negative emotions that came with me from the office. Slowly they were fading away and I didn’t feel that burden. My mind became clearer and less overloaded with “trash”. Both my body and mind became relaxed and I enjoyed that state.

Then, I increased the days of practice and devoted 3-4 days to yoga. I attended classes in the evening, however, once my teacher asked me to come practise in the morning. It was quite difficult to get up up early in the morning and travel to the studio all alone in the subway, but that did not last long. It took me a fea days to get used to a new challengeable daily routine. Today, I can’t even imagine my morning without yoga practise. It became my daily ritual, like cleaning my teeth or having breakfast – things I do every day.

I noticed that after practice I become calmer and happier, and thus any stressful moment at work looked less horrible than before. Any negative commentaries towards me did not reach me the way they did before. Yoga helped me percieve such negative cases less vividly. Indeed, I am still a sensetive person I was and I experience a wide range of emotions and can be angry, happy, sad or anything else, however, yoga teaches me control my mind and be attentive to what is able undermine your emotional state. I became quite indefferent ot some toxic people that burst out of negative energy. Well, at least I started to handle it and be less responsive to them.

Yoga improves my diet 

Since I started practising yoga, some positive changes in my diet took place. 

  1. I refused eating meat. I can’t say that I am a vegetarian, because I continue eating fish and a few times per year I still savoir chicken or turkey. But overall I don’t feel I want or need any meat within my diet. And moreover, I feel lighter and better when my body does not digest flesh. 
  2. I don’t eat fried dishes. I boil or steam vegetables instead of frying them. Oil is also burden like for my body. 
  3. I stopped eating bread, however, I still enjoy pastry, for example, croissants from time to time. And I can’t resist it. Let it be. 

All these changes happened to me with no intention to look slimmer. They just took place because of yoga and my strive to feel better. 

As I practise yoga early in the morning the food I eat in the evening affects my practise. I noticed that the best time to have my last my meal per day is 12-13 hours before my morning practice. I usually do yoga at 6-6:30am, which means the perfect time for me to eat is 5-6pm as latest. Of course, there are exemptions and sometimes I end up my evening with a cheesecake. 

Drinks affect my body as well. If I drink tea, water or anything else late at night they negatively influence my body in the morning and I have a bulge belly, and I find it harder to practise. 

The more I practise the more I come to a conclusion that I don’t need that much food to feed my body. The less – the better. Especially that concerns my breakfast. I had some experiment lately. I had a substantial breakfast and afterwards I ate again in a few hours. Not that I was hungry, but my brain and belly asked for more nourishment. When I ate very little for petit déjeuner I felt it was comme il faut, I didn’t want to fill in my body with more food. So, the less I eat the less I want to eat later. And the less I eat the more energy I preserve. 

Yoga changed my sleep regime

At first, I practised yoga in the evening, about 3 times per week. Then, my teacher advised me to come practise in the morning. It was harsh. At first. I had to get up very early because I lived far away from the yoga studio and thus I had to travel there as early as I had never done before. In order to get up when it is pitch black I had to go to bed early as well. And I did. My daily routine started shifting. Some time later, it turned out that it’s not a problem to get up at 4-5am. I even enjoy it, indeed, if I keep my early-bed-regime, otherwise it’s quite hurtful to my brain and body. My body has to rest, I need at least 6-7 hours of continuous sleep in order to feel fresh in the morning. Today, when I still travel by metro to get to the studio I see people sleeping while travelling in metro. As for me, i feel refreshed and listen to music or read a book, and I need no coffee. 

Yoga makes me choose between good sleep and fresh morning over late parties and wasteful events. Indeed, as a regular person I sometimes choose the second version, but overall I don’t want to sacrifice a wonderful morning practice and fresh day ahead over a nice chat or party late in the evening that will make me feel terrible next morning. Yoga makes me set prioroties. Yoga helps set priorities 

Yoga widens my horizons 

In my particular place, yoga got me acquainted with the Indian culture. Thanks to yoga I travelled to India. I had never imagined that I would ever visit it. I had some prejudices about that country. I considered it to be filthy and uncivilized. However, I got rid of such stereotypes when I travelled there and saw everything myself. I have been to India already for two times, and I plan to do that again. I inspired my mom who had the same thoughts about India to travel there. Since she came back, she is telling only good about the country.

Before travelling to India, I believed that Hinduism is a religion, but it is not. In India, I took some classes of philosophy and Sanscrit that inspired me explore Indian culture deeply. I learnt that Hinduism is not a religion, it is a philosophy that encompasses many schools of thought. For example, yoga is one of them. In fact, yoga we practise in the Western world is only one of the limbs of yoga philosophu, and it is better to call it practice of asanas or postures. Yoga is a wider and thinner conception.

Thanks to the practice of asanas and my travels to India, I got interested in Indian literature. Before, I only heard names of some books, but now I read them and excited how difficult and amazing Indian culture is.

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