The Practice of Yoga

In the Western societies, Yoga is mostly seen, and practiced, as a physical exercise. In its original Eastern philosophical and cultural context, Yoga is much more than that.

However, we don’t actually need to do much more than the skillfully guided physical exercise of Yoga Asanas (traditional postures), in order to experience that ‘much more’ that Yoga is. And that is the beauty of the Yoga practice called Hatha Yoga.

If practiced regularly, Yoga exercises gently lead us to powerful and profound transformations of both our body and our mind. And in that sense, Yoga is a truly holistic practice that supports the flow of life within us and stimulates self-healing.

And this is really important: regardless of misleading popular images of acrobatic young yogis, Yoga is a practice accessible to all. Yoga practice improves body’s strength, flexibility, and both, inner and outer balance. It also clams the mind and opens a possibility of knowing ourselves in a new and empowering way.

What better can one expect from a physical exercise, than being relaxed, energised and full-hearted, at ease with oneself and with the world! And that is the practice of Hatha Yoga – a gentle journey of meeting yourself on a yoga mat, discovering the innate beauty, peace and power.

The best of all: you don’t really need to be very flexible to do Yoga! You just need to give it a go (and give yourself a chance to shine!).

 

© 2018 Yoga with Mairi, by Marija Kovandzic

 

 

My Yoga Journey

My Yoga journey = my Yoga Teachers + my Yoga co-travelers + self-study + self-practice.

The equation is as simple as this, and I must admit the latest add-on of self-study and self-practice came latter on my Yoga journey. At the very beginning, it was really the teachers and the fellow students that made the magical Yoga-ball rolling in my life.

I knew hardly anything about Yoga when I started attending classes of Prof. Biljana Stojanovic in the big hall of Belgrade’s beautiful venue ‘Stari DIF’, somewhere at the end of 2002. I can only say I was blessed to start with such a masterful teacher, trained in the lineage of Satyananda and the Bihar School of Yoga.  Those 2 years of learning from Biljana, attending 3 classes per week, made an immense impact on my practice and created a deep sense alignment, flow, and lightness in Yoga asanas, that never faded out.

After I moved to Liverpool, I was searching for a while to find the teacher who would resonate with what I learned about Yoga already, and among many good teachers that I practiced with, it was Cliff Bond, Steven Jones and Niamh Kavangh that made my journey flow and flourish.

With a loving encouragement of Niamh Kavanagh, a disciple of Sahajananda and Antoaneta Gotea, I embarked to Hridaya School of Meditation and Yoga in Mexico, in late 2015, and I stayed there for 2.5 months, reconnecting to who I was, in silence, in conversations and in practice of asana as meditation, in the most beautiful Yoga community one can imagine. It is there at Hridaya School, in loving presence of Sahajananda and Antoaneta, at the beautiful shores of Oaxaca, that I became absolutely sure that teaching of Yoga is something that my heart was calling me to.

As much as I wanted to start sharing the beauty, power, wisdom and love that Yoga practice embody, I still needed to learn how to actually do it. Practicing Yoga is one thing, teaching it is another.

Once the pieces of the jigsaw fell in place (namely finding at the same time, both money and time for the Yoga Teacher Training)  – it was the Akasha Yoga Academy in Thailand, resonant itself with teachings on Hridaya / Spiritual Heart, and those of Advaita Vedanta, that emerged as the choice I’ve never regretted for. Under knowledgeable and caring guidance of beautiful teachers Kirsten Reiss and Burkhard Langemann, I completed the 200-YTT and felt the dream is coming true.

Finally, and just before I was to start instructing my first classes in Stirlingshire (Scotland), I attended a training in London with Dr Timothy MaCall (US), and got so incredibly inspired, that there was nothing else left but to start teaching, and to continue learning forever.

 

Last updated 29/03/2018

© 2018 Yoga with Mairi, by Marija Kovandzic