– Article by Arhanta Yoga Graduate Laura Giboin
I first started practicing Yoga when I was 20 years old and still studying. Yoga became my way to release stress and it taught me how to use my body better. Later on, I understood that yoga was more than a physical exercise. At the time, I did not realize yet what it would bring me after a couple years of practice.
After my burn-out in December 2017, I felt that my mind and energy where not responding to my body anymore because of work pressure. I realized that I had lost my positive energy, and that negativity had taken control. Even though I was physically, mentally and emotionally tired, I made the mistake to keep on going. Why? Because of pressure from society. Because of the general belief that we must work more to earn money, which we end up spending on material things. So, I was saving money and saving money and saving money, and at the same time all this pressure was bringing me down and I felt that I was not doing what I really wanted to do.
One day, I woke up from a nap and I made the decision to turn my life around. I quit my job that day. I asked myself “what do you want to do now, Laura?”. I was free to decide. I connected deeply to my heart and listened to it. A soft voice came to my head and said “go to India to learn yoga”. Finally, this is what I did.
I came to Arhanta Yoga in India without any expectations, like a new born baby. I chose to restart the machine, including my brain, my mind and my body. I will always remember the first day at the ashram, and the intensity of the first week. I have to admit that during the first days, I wanted to leave because I was getting pushed out of my comfort zone. With time and patience, I slowly put my ego aside and started to learn, without even knowing the true meaning of ego. Change is hard to accept sometimes but I slowly got to the point that we were all there for the same experience, all these beautiful people trying to do their best and becoming a better person than the day before.
Day after day, I slowly released a lot of deeply rooted tension, and I got over my fear of trying new things. I started to learn new knowledge. I started to change and to grow up, like a couple of grains into the earth, waiting patiently to get some water to become a tree. After realizing that change was part of the journey, the next thing that would come up was acceptance.
Accepting is not easy, and it takes effort when you first look at it. But it brings you so much when you understand that the best reaction to change is to acknowledge and to accept it. Accepting the limits from your body, accepting rules, discipline, differences, moods, people, cultures, accepting failures and trying again.
When I started to have acceptance and acknowledgement into my daily routine, I started to listen to myself, everything went smoother and I started to work with my flow. I started to open up like a flower after being watered. The anger I was carrying became less every day and instead of fighting myself against my own nature, I started to deal with it, understanding that change and consciousness take time and patience.
I had a conversation with my friend Elise one day, under the big tree at the Arhanta ashram in India. I asked her “what is the book that changed your life?”, and she straight away replied “New earth” from Eckhart Tolle. She told me it helped her to remove her ego. And I replied “What does ego mean?”. After Ram’s philosophy classes and after reading ‘New Earth’, I really felt that I started to discover a new world, a new point of view of life and of humans.
Besides that, the practice of yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have been really helpful and eye opening to me. I realized that I could let go of my body and be free from judgments, from myself and others. This training really gave me the push I needed to integrate yoga in my life and to use it as a tool to calm me down and connect to myself. The practice of yoga helped me to accept my body as it is, discover its limits and strengths and play with it.
After an intensive and enriching month at the ashram, Elise and I decided to hit the road and travel through India, where we learned and grew even more.
To conclude, today I advice the Arhanta teacher training to anyone around me who wants to experience yoga and find himself. I would say that this whole experience brought me a lot of maturity and I took a huge step in self-acceptance. It also opened my eyes and my mind a lot regarding spirituality. I learned about myself at a time where I was lost. I understood that everybody can do yoga. And that the only person you need to challenge, is the you from yesterday. It takes patience, motivation and discipline but today, I am ready to go forward and learn more every day. Now, my yoga practice is the time of the day where I can let go and go with the flow. The time where I can disconnect from my feelings and connect to my own energy. It is the time of the day where my mind is relaxed, free from thoughts and capable to love.
I am truly grateful for the teachers of Arhanta and I want to thank you. This experience changed my life and I am sure it changed many others already. My goal today is to continue the practice of yoga, to continue to teach in different places and to share what I love in this discipline.
Body, mind and heart.
All in peace together.