Earlier this year I found myself in a great conflict, in a type of depression that I did not think I would be able to get out of. This has been a very stressful year for so many and most of us are just trying to get by and figure out a way to make the best of it. What pulled me out of my funk and brought me back to accepting this reality and shifting the focus inward, was my studies on The Eight Limbs of Yoga. These steps can be interpreted in various ways to fit your life, to give you a goal and something to look forward to! The Eight Limbs of Yoga are essential guidelines or commandments that push us towards self enlightenment. The first limb in this path is called the Yamas; the relationship with ourselves and others and how we see or interpret them. We begin this journey with testing our boundaries and ability to shift towards a more positive and purposeful life. The Yamas are composed of five smaller limbs, the first one being Ahimsa. The act of Ahimsa is taking the path of nonviolence towards others, the self and in our daily activities!
My first encounter with yoga happened almost fifteen years ago. I was a freshman in high school and went up to my room, turned on the tv, and stumbled upon the fitness network. A show had just started and it began with these women doing poses with this strange dark watery scenery and these very mystical sounds in the background. I had no idea what I was watching. But I kept watching and felt almost hypnotized by their movement. I started watching this show daily for the remainder of my high school years and kept a very quiet personal practice. I was an odd duck in high school, I was what some people would refer to as an “emo” kid, and practicing yoga alone in my room helped me feel connected to something more powerful. I began to dig deeper into the philosophy side of things and tried my best to embody my practice mentally and physically. As a teenager, this was very difficult but I always tried my best.