The Path Of Yoga, Transforms Addictions

 Young And Restless

I was only 23 year old, a young and fresh woman travelling India alone.  I was struggling to find my purpose and place. I wanted a deeper meaning and purpose.  I found myself caught up in the social evils of smoking and drinking. I know it was an easy way to avoid looking  deep within. It helped me avoid the pain i felt. I would always smoke whatever I could, and in India it’s easy to meet many friends who want to join you.  There are “Babas” who have renounced life and wander hopelessly, partaking in a lot of smoking chillum.

I knew I needed help.  The first sign of making a change is to recognize that help is needed.  One day I read a sign that said:  “Ashram:  NO alcohol, No cigarettes, No hash, No Ganga, No onions, No garlic, No sex, ect.”  I totally knew this was the place I needed to check into.

Power Of Transformation

I was in Rishikesh India in 1993, a time where yoga was not so popular with the western world and Ashrams were about spiritual fulfillment.  I signed up for the best change of my life.  I took two daily Asana classes for 6 weeks, Iyengar and Shivanada. Iyengar is stricter and that is what I needed at the time.  I got bolts of energy each day from my 88 year young teacher, who inspired me through the teachings and asanas each day.

After this six week period, I never smoked cigarettes again.  I stopped drinking, and my lifestyle and habits changed automatically from the cause and effect of the practice of yoga, without even trying.

Freedom I have since walked on the path of yoga as a way of life, truly grateful knowing it’s a comprehensive integration of life, beyond the mat.  I have witnessed how yoga has become popularized in the west, mainly as a physical exercise.  They seem to have forgotten or omitted the component of the mind, body and spirit integration.

Through regular practice, these inner questions arise and the connection of self awareness automatically happens.  When we have an integration of mind, body and spirit there is a sense of inner harmony and balance which is how we move through and view life.

Commitment to self If you have a practice, remember there is more than you think beyond the Asana, and with regular practice you begin to go deeper.  It’s much like planting a seed; it grows and gets nourished with daily practice and continuous perseverance.  If you seek change you must be the change you wish to see in the world, and take responsibility to make that change.  I have found it through the endless practice of yoga and I hope the path of yoga touches many more beyond the body and into the full integration of mind, body and spirit.