Nowadays, everybody knows that yoga is good for health. In fact, when westerners think about yoga, they imagine calm people seated in meditation for hours, or flexible people doing crazy contortions. But the transformation power of yoga goes beyond what eyes can see, it’s a deep revolution in the inner Self.
I have been a Pole Dancer for 4 years. When I tell people I am also a Yoga teacher, most of them get surprised. They don’t see me as the common yoga teacher stereotype, because I am definitely not. I can be a little hyperactive sometimes – fast talker, fast walker, always in motion. It’s part of my personality. Before yoga in my life, I didn’t know how to deal with those aspects of myself so I was impatient, sometimes anxious and stressed out.
I started practicing yoga after having some injuries in my body as a consequence of aggressive physical training. At that time I was very focused on achieving quick results and training with teachers who were not properly qualified, so I ended up hurting myself. Injuried, depressed and unable to do my regular pole and circus routine, I chose yoga as a gentle form of exercising my body and helping it to heal. You can imagine that the benefits I got were not only physical, as the asanas are just a tiny portion of yoga. I fell in love with the yoga philosophy and lifestyle, and the way I would feel after practicing, so much that a few years later I left bahind everything I was doing to come to India for my first time and deepen my studies in Yoga Science.
That first TTC was only the beginning of a never ending journey inside the universe of Yoga. Right after going back to Brazil, my home country, I started teaching yoga in a regular basis. And never stopped studying and taking new and different courses to learn more every time and give the best to my students.
Of course I didn’t forget my dancing. Pole Dance is both my passion and profession, as I have my own Pole Studio where I teach. Even my pole dance classes have changed. They now have a lot to do with yoga principles and techniques, not only the physical warm-up exercises but most of all the yogi mindset, focused on the present moment, awareness, self-love, mindfulness and heartfulness.
As a practitioner, I divide my pole dancer life in before yoga and after yoga. My performance on the pole got many improvements. My body became much more flexible, balanced and strong. My concentration and awareness increased, because Yoga teaches you to stay focused in the present moment, to be total in what you are doing. I also learned to accept my body as it is. At some point you realize there are things in yourself you can change and some other things you just cannot change. For the things you can change, yoga technology gives you directions and tools to make the changes happen. For the things that are unchangeable, yoga helps you to be patient, understand your limitations and live peacefully with yourself.
I learned from Yoga to just take my time, go in my own pace and not to compare myself with others. I learned that I can achieve much more than I dreamt of, that I am a powerful being and that the more I give, the more I get.
Today, I respect my body and its limits. I respect my human emotions as I know they too shall pass. I keep observing my mind and thoughts as they come and go, and I don’t attach to them. With the practice of Yoga I got to know myself way better and perceived that I am much more than this gross human body. I experienced bliss in meditation and the practice of pranayama increased my vital energy and my self-control.
For that and many other reasons that I could write a book about, I believe everybody should give yoga a try. It changed my life so positively and might also change yours. Whatever you do, with yoga in your life you will do it even better. For me, yoga is the art of the good living and the science of improving the human experience.
Don’t wait any longer. Go Yoga now!
Written by Marina Lescreck for Shiva Shakti Yoga School (Patnem, Goa, India)