It is 20 years ago that I took over North Sydney Yoga! The yoga school is growing into adulthood now, and to nurture it into becoming what it is today certainly required a lot of continuous commitment. Yoga has taught me to settle down and to pursue its beautiful spiritual path. Twenty years ago this was a big step for me, as I had a history of travelling for many years, and I had never owned a business or a household.

Now into my 20th year of enjoying the passing on of the wonderful science of Yoga, it has certainly allowed me to reflect on what commitment is all about.

The reluctance to making commitments

Some people feel very comfortable with having consistency in their lives, activities they pursue regularly, reliably and continuously. Others struggle with the seeming lack of spontaneity, and the feeling of being ‘tied down’ to doing certain things at certain times. I can very much relate to this as I find it hard to gauge how I will be feeling in a few months, weeks, or days even.

Committing to Yoga

But Yoga practice takes a special place in all of this. Although understandably you may be uncertain as to whether you will feel like attending a particular professional or social event on a particular date, there will always be a deep seated longing for the feeling of all-over wellness and ‘being at ease’; and this won’t change from day to day, this is a constant. Once you have dipped into the sweet nectar of Yoga, and felt only for a second the bliss it can potentially create in you, and experienced its multitude benefits, you can easily ‘commit’ to a regular practice.

The ever-doubting and disruptive mind

Of course the mind will play up again and again, trying to prevent you from fully dedicating yourself to Yoga, as it doesn’t want to lose its hold over you. But it is the same mind which is creating all the troublesome thoughts and obsessive re-visiting of the same issues in your head, which can lead you to freedom, ‘Kaivalyam’.

The potential

After some resistance you may have been experiencing towards practicing regularly, maybe to being asked to attend a class on a particular day at a particular time, you’ll recognize that with regular Yoga practice, the mind has the potential to come to a place of stillness; to experience a respite from all the worries, unhealthy drives, troubling thoughts, as well as longing and sadness. Yoga provides you with very fertile ground out of which something new can be created – as with the phoenix rising out of the ashes. It gives you the room for the spontaneity you so desire.

It teaches you to conserve your energy, to use and distribute it wisely. Every challenging task becomes much more manageable, and definitely less daunting.

A new way of experiencing commitment

It is a fascinating experience that what we initially might have found restricting – one of them being that we are also encouraged to give up or cut back on some of the ‘pleasures’ in life – will actually give us back so much more than we expected. We eventually even come to the point of longing for exactly what we found initially so challenging; which is regularity, continuous commitment, and a routine. After all, being alive entails a continuous commitment to breathing! It is this breath, upon which the mind shall become continuously focused, that helps us to be in the present moment – Yoga’s prime teachings.

We have understood deep down that regular Yoga practice has led us to becoming a freer person, recognising that only the ability to live in the present moment will enable us to move through the daily grind and remain happy, contented, creative, spontaneous, adaptive, and inventive. We become an all-over much more likeable individual.

Yoga gives you all of that.

Allow yourself to experience Yoga’s endless potential.

OM Shanti,
Angelika