January 20

Why Practice Yoga?

I have been asking this to myself lately, why practice yoga everyday? And my short answer is to reconnect with my essence, and inner strength on a daily basis.

I started practicing yoga in 2007. I am originally from Colombia and my husband is American. We met in Colombia and after we got married we moved to the US and then to Libya. We are expats and move around the world every three years or so. When we moved to our first country together, he went to work immediately and I was open to a new reality in my life. I had time to discover, explore, and I was in a place with a culture and a language completely different to mine. I was very excited and curious to discover this new life, but I was also longing for my family, my job, and my friends. I planned to find a job in my career and continue living kind of what I thought was a normal life.

I started looking for a job and it was not easy or even possible as I had thought it will be, and I started to realize that life was not going to be just what I had planned in my head; and in a way, I will have to let go of that life, and be born to a new one. I had difficult days, I sure was in love with my husband, but I was missing all the aspects of whom I used to be. One day, a new friend invited me to her yoga class and I accepted. I really liked her and I was trying to make new friendships and find my place in this new life.

I still remember vividly my first yoga practice; I had not taken deep conscious breaths in a long time. And as I was going through a big moment of transformation in my life, during that practice I got to connect with that peace deep inside me. That peace connected me with my safety and with the reassurance that everything was fine as it was, and that I could choose to either continue focusing on the past and the life that I had left behind, or come into my present and open my arms and my heart to all the new possibilities. Since then, I started to practice yoga, first, once a week, then twice, then three times, and two years later, I was doing it every day. Yoga time is always a moment of connection and tranquility.

We moved to a new country in 2009, Mexico. Life in Mexico was a lot easier, the culture and the language were like mine and making friends was so easy for me. At this stage, I was offered with the decision to go back to my career or find something new to do. I decided to find something new to do; my previous career was not going to be easy to maintain as an expat and I really wanted to live with my husband. I decided to become a yoga teacher, and to me it has been a perfect career; it is a portable career, and I can find new communities to teach and connect everywhere we go. I also have the option to manage my schedule in a way that I can be present for my kids, and our household chores as much as necessary.

As we live and move, it is always difficult to say goodbye to the life we created and start over again in a new place; I just like to trust the process. My strategy for life became to be present as much as possible and live trusting it all happens for the Highest good. I also try to say yes to as many invitations as possible during our first three months in the new country, that way I get a better sense of people, communities, and things to do.

Yoga helps me connect and feel well again and again. Not every day is easy, and our tours in new countries always go through different stages. It usually takes six months to feel home, and sadness always gets us when it is time to leave.

So, why do I practice everyday? For one thing, I am a very disciplined person, so when I commit to something I am all in. But mainly, because every morning, when I take the time to practice and meditate, I fill my self-care cup, I connect with what is going on within me, and move and strengthen my body, I know I take better eating decisions, and I connect and have the energy and the clarity to take on the day. As humans, we all have chaotic, difficult moments, and I am nowhere near done with the action/reaction game of parenting . All I know, it’s that daily practice helps me remember that I can breathe, that there are things that I can and I cannot control, and that always a good exhalation takes me to a better place.

I think that it is important for every single human to figure out what is that space or activity that provides that connection, that happy place that they can go back to again and again. And if you haven’t found it, I invite you to be open to say yes to new things.

I can tell you that taking an active break to oxygenate, recharge and relax is wonderful; and it connects you with your inner peace and strength. Give yourself at least 5 minutes for your self-care. Every day allow yourself to have that space.

My biggest inspiration to teach is to see the faces of my students after relaxation. It motivates me that more and more people in the world get to know how to reconnect with its essence, and its inner strength. It all happens one breath at a time, one day at a time.

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