20/11/13: What Yoga Has Done For Me

Thank you to Sara for contributing this piece...

As a 25 years old, secondary school teacher and new mother, yoga plays an important role in my everyday lifestyle. I have been practicing yoga for around 3 years; including local classes, pre and ante­natal classes, as well as independently in my own home.

Every time I attend a workshop, class or retreat, I feel deeper determination to make yoga a focal point in my life.

Yoga has helped me through my Crohn's disease treatment and recently my pregnancy ­keeping my mind strong and my body resilient. It allows my mind to relax and my body to find the energy it needs for everyday life. The main elements which work for me both in and out of class are the alternative nostril breathing and skull brightening breathing techniques; which help to de­-stress and detoxify. Similarly, the twists I have practiced have improved my circulation and given a feeling of 'openness' within my body.

It is also true that your practice is as strong and enthusiastic as your teacher ­and both Tara and Leonie have helped to create within me, a love of yoga.

My current challenge is to condition and control my body in a way that allows me to successfully perform arm balances. Also, using the Kirtan Kriya meditation mantra inspires me to progress on the path to spiritual development as well as working to ease tension in every day dilemmas.

Above all, yoga has empowered me and put me in tune with my body, in turn, transforming the way I live my life. My perspective in life, and relationships with others have been influenced in such a positive way by the Hatha and Jivamukti yoga I practice, as well as the lovely people I have met along the way.

Sara, 25, Manchester