Are you on the journey to find yourself? To better understand who you are deep within your heart, mind, body, and soul? I highly suggest the beautiful art of yoga!
Being in a room filled with heat, humidity, and 5-30 sweaty bodies on a magic carpet, (I mean mat), took me on a journey I am forever grateful for. In that one moment I understood true gratitude, true peace within my self, and the most important for me, self-love.
It all started with trying to set up a girl’s night for my friends and myself. What better way to connect with each other than a hot sweaty vinyasa class?! Only two of us were brave enough for the adventure! My friend and myself almost lost our lunch through the flow and heat, but somehow, maybe the masochistic part of me, decided to sign up for a 30-day challenge after my first hot class. 30 yoga classes in 30 days.
So my journey began, and in those 30 days I experienced the most growth I have ever experienced within myself to date. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Over the years I have found myself in the asanas, flows, sweat, and heat. There was one teacher in particular who encouraged me when I felt as though I had no more strength, physically and spiritually.
Her loving and nurturing soul helped me find a path to loving my mind, heart, soul, and body.
Yoga saved me from the dark place I was in. I was fearful of change and all the new that was coming my way. I was afraid of being alone after the pain and heartbreak from a horrible divorce. I was slowly picking up the pieces and rebuilding myself day by day.
My insecurities ran wild. I was cynical and a Negative Nancy. I felt I would always be alone. That I was not good enough for another soul to love me. Ultimately, when I stripped away all of the emotions and meditated on my hearts desires, I realized- I did not love myself.
I did not love myself because I did not know who I truly was. I spent my life being who I thought others wanted me to be. My own ego made me feel inferior. That pesky little devil tore me to pieces. But it brought me to question “If I never truly learned to love myself, how could I expect myself to love others or for others to fully love me?”
It’s a long journey to finding who we are and it doesn’t end until our last breath. Thankfully through the practice and life of yoga I have learned some valuable lessons.
I’ve learned gratitude from witnessing my fellow classmates thank our instructor for guiding us through the class with encouragement. Thankfulness for the time we have spent in the classroom, on our mats, together as one. The prayers and positive thoughts that radiate through the room in those moments, they wrap around your body and carry with you throughout your day.
I learned true peace and quiet from laying in savasana after class—relaxing and letting go of the hard work I put in, letting go of that journey and allowing the Universe to guide me to where I am supposed to be next. When your mind is rambling and your heart is hurting- take a few minutes to open them with yoga. You can feel what is real and true: your breath, your body, your soul.
I learned self-love. To embrace all that makes me uniquely me- the good, the bad, the ugly. I love my mind for all that it can comprehend and conquer. I love my heart for its interminable ability to see the potential in each soul. I love my soul for its similarity to water, it takes each change that comes its way and finds a new path. I love my body for waking every morning, breathing every second, and embracing Mother Nature and all the Universe has to offer.
I can honestly say now I love myself. And it is all through the journey of yoga.
Through this journey, I can speak Namaste with truth.
“I honor the place in you where Spirit lives, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One.”
Hannah Hilton is just a woman on a journey—with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair. She is melodically mellow minded with the creative curiosity of a young child. A little yin and a little yang, a nelipot who loves Mother Nature, yoga, live music, good friends, good conversation, good food, art, and a lover of laughter! Follow Hannah’s journey here or connect with her on Facebook.
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