Yoga – beginning of a path

BLOG POST It was about nine years ago that, finally, there was room for yoga in my life. As early teenager I did read some literature on yoga without understanding much of its meaning. However, it took almost twenty years before I stepped onto yoga mat for real.

The yoga school I enrolled in was located in the attic floor of a blockhouse in Näsilinnankatu, in Tampere city centre. The first memory I recall is this absolutely wonderful feeling of being fully present in my body laying in savasana in the end of the session. It didn’t take long that I stop avoiding my figure in the mirror. Rather I learned to approach it with curious and approving eyes.

Slowly but surely the regular asana practice washed my guts clean inside out. The difficult skin condition that I had eased up remarkably and my overall physical state got better and better. The intensive exercise resulted in oh-so-sweet but deceitful euphoria. My acrobatic ambitions got high as well.

Due to severe problems with my lower back I came to struggle with my priorities. Soon enough I gave up strong backbends realising that my practice wouldn’t last long if I continue to challenge my back to its limits. I started a very gentle work in cooperation with my back, and for the time being it’s more or less like stronger than ever.

Ashtanga vinyasa retreats in the wonderful Kadermo Island have been my stairway to more advanced practice. Guided pranayama exercises provided access to work on more subtle levels of your body not to mention the truly purgative effects of nadi sodhana. However, advancement in breathing exercises requires patience and non-attachment, as does all meditation practice.

At some point along the way I realised God. Just like that, in the middle of asana practice, during trikonasana in my living room. In one moment God was present and my loyal friend, idea of atheism, simply gone. This experience affected most my confidence in life; that it will carry me towards right direction even if I don’t always bother to do the right choices.

Four years ago I fortunately ended up in a course that introduced me to north-Indian tantric practise. Given introduction to certain yantra and mantra meditation techniques, soon my life was turned upside down. From that winter on I’ve been blessed to experience peace and harmony with all that is. Everything changed even if nothing changed. How could I explain it better?

It was the next fall that I found my roots for real studying archaic Finno-Ugric tradition. It was absolutely fantastic to discover that a tree indeed has a soul. And that wind carries messages as does smoke embody healing effects. And no matter how detached from the past you think you are, everybody does belong to a chain of generations that reaches up to the absolute beginning.

Studying yoga, meditation and nature’s wisdom inspires me to seek more wisdom of what it means to be a human being in this world of ours. Not only that, I’ve also got a great urge to share my knowledge with others. There is no way one can teach insights, for genuine comprehension is an internal process. However, one can give tools so that You could discover Your True Nature; the innate wisdom along all that is.

Post scriptum

At this phase of my journey I’d like to thank my ashtanga teacher Sirpa Tapaninen for gentle and competent guidance; Stefan Engström for pranayama and attitude formation, Liz Padmadevi for generosity of heart and mantra meditation; Susanna Aarnio for keys to nature’s wisdom and last but not least, for Kulavadhuta Satpurananda for tantra philosphy lessons and encouragement of a genuine master.

Written by Sanna Gyllene.

Open your heart | Photo by Mika Majaranta