How yoga changed my life perspective

At i-Campus we have a lot of partners from all over the world. We believe that in our community everybody can find what they are looking for: be it marketing, entrepreneurship or yoga, we have a colorful and open community for everybody, who comes to Malaga to enjoy the sun, and also wants to work, while meeting new people, and hearing inspirationa stories.

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A journey in the world of yoga, shared by our member Nina Howes

My journey to Yoga started with Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga), giving into the idea that putting your body through immense heat, and practising movements to go along with it, would be a metabolism booster exercise I could add to my weekly practise. Little did I know Yoga would be my saviour, grounding me, rejuvenating me, connecting my mind and my body and enlightening me. As I moved away from Hot Yoga to the ‘traditional’ yoga we see today such as Vinyasa, Hatha and Ashtanga I began to see my body transform, my mind become calmer and clearer, and I felt my perspective of life deepen. 

I found myself asking questions:

What do I want from life?

What makes me truly happy?

How do I discover my passions?  How do I make them a bigger part in my life story?

What does success look like to me?

Working through these, year by year, rediscovering myself. I realised that Yoga had been just what I needed to peel my ‘onion’, and find my very essence underneath it all. Thus, working forwards from working backwards. So what came from the surface of just a physical practise was really, and still is, a life teacher, a guide and a mentor.

What is yoga?

yoga

As much as I cannot stress enough the psychological and spiritual component that Yoga entails, the physiological is also a big part of the whole experience. The way I see it is we use Yoga to express ourselves through our body. Hence why, in my own ‘teachings’ I encourage creativity and playfulness to unfold during the practise. It is a place where time does not slow down, or speed up, but whereby we are pulled completely to the present moment through synchronizing our movements with our breath, a form of movement meditation.

The most important element in the movement practise of Yoga is the breath, if you are going to remember one thing, it is the breath. Can we bring intention to our breathing; can we determine its patterns? Most people breathe more rapidly and shallowly, this is because we are doing so many things in a day, and we do not have time to focus our attention on an involuntary movement such as breathing. However, when we do focus on the breath we notice that if we deepen it, if we inhale for longer and exhale for longer, our whole immune system responds. We switch on that parasympathetic nervous system to halt the negative effects of a system overrun by cortisol and adrenaline, a chronic symptom of modern day age. 

Balance and growth

Highlighting another fundamental component in Yoga; balance and growth. Our ability to bring balance is key to our practise in Yoga, focusing the body and mind so much so that we ultimately fine tune our movements and determine where we sit on the spectrum. For example, understanding how far our bodies’ capabilities can reach (before we are doing our body a disservice) and where we are sitting too comfortably (thus where we can challenge ourselves more) is important to get the most out of a practise. Through our practise of yoga, and finding the ‘right’ balance, we give ourselves room for trial and error to shed light on the line in which we sit, this changes and grows dependent on how often we practise and for how long. Growth shows us that our efforts have not been in vain, and provides us that extra push to keep going, to keep discovering.

There are many more things I can say about Yoga, about its teachings and the humbleness in its practise, but remember Yoga will create body endurance, flexibility and strength while calming an incessant mind that is used to working on overdrive. Give yourself this chance to rediscover the power in your body, and mind, to nurture and reconnect to intention and awareness through continually understanding and listening to the two. 

Join me for this movement meditation as we flow through the practise of Yoga.

Nina Howes

ONLINE yoga classes: www.flowbynina.com (email for a free trial)

PHYSICAL yoga classes: i-Campus Rooftop (Calle Puerto N14) – Wednesday 1:30PM – 2:30PM (this is subject to change now the weather is warmer – stay tuned)