Yoga: Eyes and Heart Wide Open, by Lisa Tai

Image credit:Β Missy N

When I lie in savasana, an exquisite peace flows over me. It is a reminder to me that I can access this feeling at any time because it always exists inside of me. When I accept that this feeling of pure joy is always there, it amazes me. I just have to breathe into the present and let go of anything and everything else that may take me away from remembering how awesome I am!

Before I discovered yoga, I felt as if I was walking around in a haze. A certain heaviness and darkness seemed to always be with me, and had even become a part of me. In fact, I fed on that dark, dense energy. You could see it in all of the poetry I wrote. I lamented, complained, and openly expressed all of my negativity, frustration, and sadness. I became my thoughts and emotions, until they finally began to destroy me from the inside out.Β 

Then I found yoga. And it saved my life. It helped me become aware of how I had been contributing to my own suffering. Slowly, but surely, it taught me to how to connect with my inner world and the world around me.

Β Through self-discipline and an ancient system that resonated with me, I began to really see myself. It became easier to view and accept myself as good, rather than judging myself by other people’s standards and their misguided beliefs.

Who am I? – I am the silent awareness standing behind all this. What am I doing here? – I am here to grow into full awareness of my true nature, which is peace, creativity and happiness.

~ Yogani

As I practiced yoga in various forms, including asana, pranayama, and meditation, I began to become more aware of my true state. As I connected more with my body, I felt sensations that I’d never before experienced. I could move through the world with more ease and grace. I felt lighter, a mind-body-spirit connection. I felt a wholeness that until then had been unusual, but indicative that I was on the right path. I began to realize that I was creating a different reality for myself, one based on acceptance and love, and one that felt right for me.

I found a way to constantly remind myself that we are, for the most part, living in a world of delusion, distracted by so much that actually does not matter. So we need to pay close attention to what does, with gratitude, on a daily basis.Β 

One of the most effective techniques I have applied to my yoga practice and my life is the art of mindfulness. Allowing myself to simply slow down and be present has given me the ability to observe myself and the world around and within me with less judgement and expectation. So this has made me happier.

The only way to ease our fear and be truly happy is to acknowledge our fear and look deeply at its source. Instead of trying to escape from our fear, we can invite it up to our awareness and look at it clearly and deeply.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

When I live in awareness, I also live in acceptance and am willing to face my fears. Therefore, I am kinder and more forgiving to myself and others. I am whole and full. Though I am not perfect, I am perfection because I am lacking nothing, I regard myself lovingly, and I accept exactly who I am. All the while, I am open to productive change and transformation.

Yoga has taught me to how to choose and seek peace and love. It has taught me to be a more giving person. It has taught me to live consciously and be aware of how my actions affect myself and others.

I am not going to suggest that I have it all figured out. I have just reached a point in my life where I am living with eyes and heart wide open. I am aware of my privilege, my blessings, and my power. I am living with less resistance and more acceptance, less walls and more connections. I am less fearful, and more trusting.

I am committed to living this way, and I invite you to do the same.

Lisa Tai

Lisa Tai is a yoga teacher, thai massage practitioner, holistic nutritionist, holistic esthetician, writer/poet, performance poet, and lover of life.