Get More from Yoga

 

Take it from a certified yoga instructor and go beyond perfecting the postures and breathing evenly

 

We’ve all heard of the various health benefits of yoga. But this being a holistic practice, yoga has been beneficial to many of its staunch advocates in different aspects of their lives.

 

Meg Villanueva, yoga practitioner and now Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor, says, “Like many, I was introduced to yoga initially for its benefits to the physical body and mental state.” She enumerates increasing flexibility and muscle strength, fostering relaxation, reducing stress, and aiding in weight loss, as among these.

 

“But sticking to only these would give too poor of a vision of yoga,” she says.

After a decade of practicing it, she re-discovered yoga in 2011 as a healing and self-transformation practice. “It’s a safe space I dedicated myself to since then.”

 

Here’s what else she has gained:

 

Looking inward.

“Through yoga, I found strength for inner reflection and introspection to change my lifestyle by improving my energy management, being in control of my emotions, openly dealing with stress, and finding meaning and happiness in everything I do.”

 

Letting love and light in.

The attention, consciousness, and awareness I was able to give yoga in my life were the starting points when I felt its transformative power. It became a way of life for me where I discovered positivity, simplicity, gratitude, compassion, and love as basic values I need in my life.”

 

Transcending.

From this grounding, I learned to let go of the past (grudges pains, regrets), embracing what it has molded me to be today; change my mindset (on many things) and open my heart to not be afraid of accepting major changes in life; accept and love myself for who I am (and my strengths and weaknesses); make (more of) the right choices; practice more empathy; be emotionally mature (i.e. not letting my emotions control over me); improve the way I relate to people; be more present in my day to day undertakings (mindfulness); open my heart to whatever comes; and live with gratitude that definitely made my life happier.”

 

Staying connected.

Thanks to the constant practice of yoga, I have achieved a more conscious connection with my emotions–becoming more aware of my feelings–and how these feelings have to be observed, because they are not apart from us. This made me feel lighter as a person, and become more free-spirited and open to just going with the flow.”

 

Transformation.

Yoga has helped me transform every moment of my life in a beautiful and powerful space. This was yoga´s healing power.”

 

For Villanueva, one of the motivations for teaching yoga is to share her personal journey of healing to those who might need it and find it inspiring. “The practice of yoga reflects the way I want to live my life off the mat as well - with simplicity, love, compassion, and gratitude – daily,” concludes Villanueva.