Yoga Is My Light

A poetic and personal account of our student Angelika's physical, metal and spiritual yoga journey.

Do you all know what is the best thing about yoga?

The reason that drives me here, into that room, every single time, the reason that is always there when I lay down in Savasana at the end of each class. That reason is still the same… the same reason I started practicing yoga in the first place.

I remember that day, that time. That memory, firm like a stone, a stone I had always carried inside me, for years. Thanks to yoga this stone has been melting kindly in my soul, and blossoming like a flower.

I always thought sport would have been my medicine, my serotonin level boost, which at times, had abandoned me… completely out of my control, my will.

Running, working out had been pretty good for me at least for a while.

I remember, those times when I felt lonely, I used to run, run and run… experiencing the sweat across my chest, my forehead, my lips… Heart beat racing with intense speed… and that felt good, damn.

When I was left out, needed to face the most awful moments of my life, the gym was always the best place to run to, and make my day worthwhile.

I saw storms, thunder and rainbows again. And I was so excited to be happy, again, each time. I was happy to be happy. Does it make sense to you?

Nah.. It didn’t to me after a while anymore.

You cannot be happy to be happy and let the external world influence your mood, your state of mind.

That’s how I ended up: I lost the reason I wanted to be happy for, I lost myself somewhere, I lost my sense of seeking the truth, the reality, I lost touch with the ground…

And that doesn’t mean I am absolutely rational, or a sceptic. I’m talking about self-discovery, finding deeply what your mind feels, how powerful that body-soul connection is.

I guess I had never taken care of myself as I should have done, as a whole. I’d always been focused on one aspect, one thing only at a time.

First, my body, starving myself until I felt “better”, always nervous, anxious, on edge, crying out loud until I felt dizzy and empty inside. Forgetting my mind.

And then, shifting to my mental state. Overeating to feel happy, to fill that emptiness. Enjoying my social life in extreme ways, a few times too much.

Depression is a beast, or I mean, that’s what I always thought.

But, I found out that this horrible part of our, my human being, was exactly the very reason. The reason that drove me here, to start over, with my yoga practice.

I would read articles, watch videos, a few chapters about this big word: YOGA. But I had not yet put my feet on that floor, on that mat, in that room.

My first class was unforgettable. Really. I kept repeating to myself: what am I doing here? This is definitely not for me, no way! It’s too warm and I’ll faint for sure, I’ll make such a fool of myself in front of everyone.

I had to stop so many times between postures, drinking the last sip of coconut juice, threw nearly a whole bottle of water on my face, watching the others move like a symphony, absolutely perfect, amazing.

I could taste the salty sweat, I could feel that incredible pain my body had held for a long time. That struggle was not because of the exhausting practice, that came from what I’d been hiding, holding inside me, pretending I was always okay. “Yeah, I’m suffering, so what?! I’m strong, hell! No one can beat me!”

That pain was pure rage and I exploded into something more, in that period of my life which seemed like it lasted forever. That was where I thought I could never get off.

That’s a saying: "When life knocks you down, try and land on your back because if you can look up… you could get off!”

Well, this is how I feel when I practice Savasana. I feel my chest, my core, my soul opening up to infinite possibilities after an overwhelming and exhausting clas.

Sometimes in class I reach my edge… But it’s alright. Maybe that day has been tiring enough for me. I’ll do what I can, I’ll do what my body and mind feel I can do today.

This is what I love about yoga. Some days I end up doing all the postures throughout the whole class, without hesitation. I feel invincible.

Some days…. I need a longer break, I don’t feel I can handle that pose for a long time… and that’s okay. Are we perfect? I don’t think so. And yoga is a mirror where our life can be seen more clearly. And life is not perfect. It’s like someone is talking to me, teaching me how to be gentle and kind with myself, accepting my limits, my powerful limits.

Do what you want and what you can. You’ll get stronger eventually.

From that very first day, those reasons are always with me, inside me, and yoga has been and still is my mentor.

I stepped in and I won’t step out from what has saved my life in that moment, when I really thought I could fall deeply into a dark cave, never being able to see the light again.

YOGA IS MY LIGHT at the end of the tunnel, my hard stone turned into a blossoming flower.