What Living in a Yoga Ashram Taught Me
I honestly feel that as I push my body to become stronger and more flexible, so does my mind become. Through the months of September and October this year, I spent the entirety of 31 days between Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat, Vietnam living in a yoga ashram environment at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centers. I can now say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
To briefly explain my "yogic journey" it began about three years ago, while I participated in free yoga classes offered at my university gym. I fell in love when I experienced my first yoga high, after a successful sivasana (the relaxation pose done at the end of practice). I continued doing yoga intermittently for about two years until late 2014 when I joined a small, intimate, and more authentic yoga studio in Miami Beach. I began practicing multiple times per week but wanted more - I knew the actual poses (or asanas) were only one aspect of the true yoga practice and this is when I made another goal for my world trip: I want to spend one month at a yoga ashram.
I am SO happy I made this goal for myself. Spending these 31 days immersed in The Five Points of Yoga, I grew more into the person I want to be. More aware, more patient, more kind, and I could go on and on. Although I went into this endeavor with more physical goals for my body, I came out with more mental goals for my mind. The yogic journey is a lifelong process towards enlightenment and I am enthralled at the idea of this all just being the beginning.
I've made the decision that I want to make yoga ashram living an annual experience. The daily practices of meditation, asanas, spiritual teachings, ceremonies, vegetarian diet, karma yoga, etc is something that is very difficult to participate in during our day to day lives. Also, being in an ashram, around other souls also seeking this path, is an energy source that is incomparable to any other. So much positivity! It's an unbelievably beautiful place.