The Paradox of the Practice

Only in yoga can you feel that you’ve really come a long way since you first started and yet feel that you still have so much more to accomplish. You get this feeling of fulfillment because you have conquered your fears and weaknesses, yet you humble yourself because you know there is always room for improvement. That is the beautiful paradox of the practice.

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SHIRSHASANA or HEADSTAND
Taken on my third month of practice
What needs adjustment: The spine should be long and straight. As seen on the leftmost shot, my back is curved and my tailbone is popping out. The rightmost shot shows the proper alignment of the back but my legs should be straight with my toes pointing up or my soles facing the ceiling.




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Why Yoga? Why not?!

yoga - lotus

I can name FOUR THINGS that usually stop adults from trying out something new: FEAR, INDOLENCE, POVERTY and AILMENT. Fortunately, none of them can really be used as an excuse from trying out Yoga. As I have learned in my relatively short practice [barely 4 months], the only thing that can stop you from practicing is YOURSELF.

Are you scared that you might not be strong or flexible enough to try Yoga? Now, that is just plain silly! You gain strength and flexibility by practicing. It is not a prerequisite that you should be strong and flexible prior to actual practice. You need only come with good intentions for your health and wellness, and the rest will follow.

Are you mostly lethargic and overall unmotivated to try something new? I know you think it’s okay not to do anything with your life. That sedentary lifestyle probably works for you. But, uhmm, if you could just stand up from your couch and walk to the nearby Yoga studio, that would be great for your physical and mental health. Maybe it’ll distract you from the huge bore that you consider your life.

Think you can’t afford to attend a Yoga class or to purchase Yoga gear? Good news! The Yoga studio I go to only charges Php 50 (that’s FIFTY Philippine Pesos) for every session you attend. They can even lend you a Yoga mat for free! Marichi Yoga House is located at Aparente Street, Purok Malakas, General Santos City. Currently, they have 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM sessions everyday except Sundays.

Got a medical condition? Ask for your physician’s opinion if you can engage in light physical activities such as Yoga. And do inform your instructor prior to class of your ailment. It is generally safe to practice Yoga. In fact, some practitioners even swear their medical condition improved with continued practice. But you must be responsible for your own well-being. Listen to your body. Don’t worry, your body will almost always tell you to go on with the practice. 😉

If I may be honest, the only thing that got me to try doing Yoga was the close proximity of the Yoga studio to my house. It’s quite literally a stone’s throw away. I felt that I needed a new activity to distract me from the mundane cycle that is my existence. And when I did try Yoga for the first time, during the entire session, all I could think of was, “What have I gotten myself into? When is this session coming to an end?” I admit, it was tough. I was pretty much sedentary for a long time. But when I was all stretched and drenched in sweat, I knew I was coming back. And I did. Not everyday though. But as often as I could. And I dedicated myself to the practice.

Four months ago, I couldn’t even reach my toes standing up, bending down. Now, not only can I let my hands touch flat on the floor, I can even step on palms with my toes touching my wrists. The beautiful thing about Yoga is that Yogis don’t compete with each other, yogis compete with themselves. And as long as I know I’m better and stronger today than I was yesterday, then I know I’m on the right track.

If there is any disadvantage of practicing Yoga, I have yet to discover it. If you would ask me why anybody should ever try yoga, I would only answer with another question, “Well, why the hell not?”

CHAKRASANA or WHEEL POSE Photo taken on my third week of Yoga practice What needs adjustment: the feet should be pointed directly in front and not sideways.

CHAKRASANA or WHEEL POSE
Photo taken on my third week of Yoga practice
What needs adjustment: the feet should be pointed directly in front and not sideways.