Friday, 7 March 2014

Yoga is union

I can see glimmers of the pink soft sun from behind a distant mountain as my eyes ever so slightly crack open.

It’s dusk and fog lays low above the rice fields. The air is crisp.

With a deep inhalation, I breathe in the scent of coconut husks burning their rich woody scent and exhale to the sound of running water and roosters singing their morning song.

Seated with my hands on my knees and my back straight and tall, we sink into silence.

A space where the breath is the centre of attention.

Thoughts rise and fall, rise and fall, but the breath is the constant.

The breath is where my mind returns. A dog begins to bark, but my mind returns to my breath. A motorbike passes, but my mind returns to my breath. Crickets start to cackle in unison, but my mind returns to my breath.

Seconds, minutes, moments, and chunks of time pass as my mind dances this elegant courting of attention meets awareness; a waltz of a different kind.

The prayer bowl vibrates with one loud gong, signaling the end of the morning meditation practice.

With one more deep inhalation and an equally deep exhalation, I slowly open my eyes.

I rise to my feet, hands by my side. My gaze softly rests near my nose.

Practice begins.

I raise my hands above my head and flow through the sequence, asana by asana, breath by breath.

Some poses come naturally with ease, while others challenge my posture and my muscles.

Sometimes I feel strong and flexible and other times, I feel feeble and restricted.

I breathe.

Every movement made on the right side is mirrored on the left, creating balance and equanimity in body and in the mind.

Every forward bend is complimented by a backward bend. Every flow, standing, sitting and inversion posture is aligned and supports the other, holistically aiding the movement of energy around the body.

It is the yin and the yang, the sun and the moon. It is the balance between opposing forces.

A sequence of transformation.

The sun now sits high in the sky and my body’s internal heat is burning.

I am connected.

I am connected to my breath. I am connected to my body’s movements, both its strength and its limitations. I am connected to my mind.

This is yoga. Union of the body, mind and soul.


I am currently in Bali doing my yoga teacher training, specialising in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, with the group called It's Yoga Satellite. I highly recommend this program if you are considering becoming a teacher yourself. The support, structure, and learning will take you to new heights; personally, professionally and spiritually :)

Let's hear from you now. I want to know what's been your experience with yoga. Is it something you have recently discovered or have you been practicing for some time now? How does it make you feel? If not yoga, maybe another form of exercise that connects you to your breath (surfing, jogging, cycling, swimming). You know what to do. Pop in the comment box below. I'll see you there :)


  1. So great to read this article, Leah! After travelling around a lot for work and visiting friends, it had been about three months without my regular yoga practice that I was used to. Now in Costa Rica, I´ve found a lovely tiny studio where it is affordable to take classes (my room barely has room to do a downward facing dog...) and I am embracing the challenge of doing yoga in Spanish! I can´t wait to hear more about your yoga journey Leah, please do share when you´re ready!

  2. Thank you Pip! So happy you enjoyed it. It's amazing how much yoga gives us. Like, you, there have been times when I haven't been able to practice and it always feels like something is missing; that I'm a little out of alignment. Wonderful to hear you have now found a studio and way to go you! Yoga in Spanish! I did the same in Barcelona for a few classes and thought it would be more challenging than it actually was. That's the beauty of the Sanskrit language. It is used universally :) I will most definitely be sharing more insights into my yoga journey along the way. Sundays especially on Paper Planes Connect is a day to reflect and learn from the mat so keep your eyes out on Facebook and Instagram. Keep sharing your yoga journey too :)


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