Since taking up yoga fifteen years, my experience of the practice has been one of transformation. Transformation – that word annoyed me initially. It triggered my being and made me think of large auditoriums with a motivational speaker shouting about what we “need to do” to live the right way. However when I reflect on my choice in coming to the mat it was to transform my body. Following a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis I wanted an alternative to surgery and yoga was suggested.
“It was uncomfortable to admit that life wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be”
It was the first time in my life where I was a witness and participant in healing my physical body and also in seeing how my life began to shift when I was in conscious choice. I began to see the power within the practice almost immediately and initially I ran the other way. It was uncomfortable to admit that life wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be – the career I had chosen wasn’t the career I actually wanted to be in, the place I lived in was no longer the place I really wanted to be and to be frank I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t sure how to feel happy or content with my life.
I continued to step in and out of yoga for a few years without any real commitment to the practice and then something shifted. I walked into a yoga studio eight years ago with a commitment to embrace my practice and truly see where it would lead me. It was the one practice I kept coming back to when things weren’t feeling great.
“My understanding of transformation has shifted over the years of practicing yoga.”
That choice has led me on a journey that has been full of laughter, tears, frustrations, joy, love, freedom and transformation. My understanding of transformation has shifted over the years of practicing yoga. It no longer triggers my emotions in the same way it did and similarly my practice has changed and continues to develop and grow.
Being in inquiry about who I am has gifted me freedom, love and trust. It has challenged me in ways I never believed possible and it has rewarded me with a life I love and one that is always changing. I believe transformation is to change and to change is to be in transformation.
“You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.” – Gandhi
Making commitments to yourself each and every day is to be in transformation. These commitments will be different for everyone – it may be to mediate for 3 minutes each morning and evening; it may be to reduce your coffee intake by one less cup a day; it may be to step onto your yoga mat at least once a week or it may be to take the time to eat breakfast with loved ones before heading out into the world. These little things are the small steps we can take to bringing our lives into balance. As Gandhi said: “You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no results.”
Aoife’s transformational journey truly began over ten years ago, in her home country, Ireland, when she found herself practicing yoga to help alleviate an illness. She was amazed at the feelings of well-being and peace experienced after just one class. Soon after, her parents gifted her the opportunity to visit a life coach and from there she hasn’t looked back.