What Yoga Means To Me
A Series of 15 Teachers’ Stories in 15 Days
celebrating Yoga Tree’s 15 Year Anniversary
When I first came to yoga, I thought it was all about getting your body into crazy poses. Sweating, moving, breathing, standing on your hands, making a fool, I mean a pretzel of yourself.
What I have come to embrace is that yes, yoga is about getting your body into shapes. And yes, it is about being in those shapes for optimal health and longevity. And yes, sometimes it’s about trying Eka Pada Koundinyasana, mastering it for a nano-second, and looking around to see if anyone actually saw you get into it! It’s about falling on your face countless times and getting up to do it all over again with a smile.
But let me tell you, it’s much deeper than that because we are much deeper than that.
It’s about focus. It’s about being in a posture and observing your reaction while you’re in it. Are you looking around, comparing yourself to others? Are you pushing too hard? Not trying hard enough?
How you react in these postures is exactly how you react off your mat so pay attention.
It’s about breathing so deep that you stop listening to the voices in your head and actually start living from your heart.
It’s about using your voice to release energy that’s stagnate and locked up inside the throat.
It’s about heart opening postures that get you to look up instead of down at an electronic device. It’s about deep squats that bring you closer to the Earth with your hips wide open.
It’s about clearing the mind through movement and hitting the reset button so everything you think, say and do comes from a place that is laced with clarity and authenticity.
It means co-creating and collaborating with your community. It’s about building an inner capacity to engage and connect outside of yourself. It’s about seeing yourself from a new perspective; a unique noticing of yourself and what you have to offer this planet.
It’s about uniting with other like-minded individuals and really coming together to serve, support, and love each other.
It’s deep because YOU are deep. You are layers of density and getting to the deep stuff is where the transformation really happens.
So what to do? Get on your mat, every, single day; even if it’s for five minutes, one round of Surya Namaskar A, one little sequence, or one inversion.
Anything to shake the debris and eradicate the neurosis of the mind so you can start living the life you really want. Yoga brings you closer to yourself so you can truly be your Self.
About the Author: Dana Damara, ERYT 500, has been practicing yoga for 13 years and training teachers for 6. She is the creator of Girls Elevate, author of Oms from the Mat, mother, coach, yoga instructor, speaker and yogini. She has embraced yoga as a lifestyle both on and off the mat. Through her children, writing, yoga, and fulfilling relationships, Dana radiates that power of soulfulness and spiritual awakening through yoga, both for others and herself. She has studied with Seane Corn, Johhny Kest and Sienna Sherman, building on their philosophies, creating a flow that opens the heart, quiets the mind and exudes a balance of strength and grace.
“My passion on the mat is proper alignment, powerful breath and effortless flow so you feel that off your mat. Your practice becomes sacred space where you arrive to find more meaning, depth, authenticity and integrity in your life. You’re going to move, sweat and completely redesign your body through the power of yoga – I promise! “ Learn more about Dana at www.danadamara.com.