I followed Yogi Aaron’s journey to Costa Rica because he was a legend in the NYC community and I always wanted to go on a retreat at Blue Osa. I knew that a 30-day yoga teacher-training with Yogi Aaron would be an honor, but it was also an opportunity for me to escape my “stressful” life. When I signed up for the month long program, the thought of coming back to my corporate job where I was working around the clock was something I couldn’t imagine. The reality is that I completed my 30 day yoga teacher-training completely energized and motivated to go back to reality and live my best life.
My Practice Before And After
I only knew Yoga as a physical activity; Yogi Aaron introduced me to the heart and soul of yoga and a philosophy that gave me a new relationship with my mind and body. Some of the gifts I received included the power of breath and overcoming fear by staying present in the moment. The true test of my experience at Blue Osa was how I applied the lessons I learned in my everyday life. There are 4 areas of my life that have been impacted after Blue Osa: relationship with my friends and family, my corporate job, giving back to my community and the pursuit of my yoga practice and teaching career.
I moved to San Diego 2 years ago from New York. Upon return from Blue Osa, one of the first learning’s I put into action was organizing my space. A life without clutter is beautiful! I evaluated the things I needed and organizing my physical space allowed me to clear my mind. I was also able to look at the relationship with my friends and family. While I had to make some tough decisions to distance myself from a few, I am thrilled with the relationships I’ve developed with family members and new friends who bring a positive vibe to my life.
Yoga In The Corporate World
With my corporate job that I once dreaded, I was able to see the blessings it had given me over the past 12 years and overcome stress by focusing on the present. My yoga and meditation practices develop my concentration skills that allow me to focus on doing 1 activity at a time effectively. I also learned that stress is rooted in fear, and fear is a false evidence. Rather than worrying about what may or may not happen, I focus on staying present on the task at hand. The ability to stay present and overcome fear is no easy task. Along with staying disciplined with my yoga and meditation practices, I have to consciously work hard at it every day in order for it to become an effortless effort. Over the past 3 months I successfully managed through change at work and found a balance between my personal life, my yoga practice and teaching private lessons. I manage a team of over 10 people, and their work-life balance and health is a priority to me to ensure that we are successful at our jobs. One of my greatest gifts was when an employee came to me last month to share how the 1-to-1 breathing technique has helped him and how he is taking care of his health and the positive impact it has had with his work and his family.
The Impact On My Spiritual Life
Yoga teacher training connected me to my spiritual side and faith. I have a belief in one of the mantras from my yoga teacher-training with Yogi Aaron: “The universe of limitless opportunities is opening up to me.” At Blue Osa we were able to plan and teach 90-minute yoga classes to our fellow students and the community. When I taught my first yoga class with my fellow student Lisa, I experienced what it felt like to do what you love and I felt limitless! I was inspired to work hard at my own practice, and I’m exploring some amazing yoga schools in San Diego and connecting with teachers. Yogi Aaron gave us the knowledge and courage to teach right away, and my first private lesson was one of my most rewarding experiences. I teach at least 1 private session each week, and I’ve connected with a friend in New York who is a business coach and am actively working on my business and marketing plan. I’ve also connected with my cousin who teaches a classical Indian dance called Kathak which includes Kathak Yoga, and we are developing our business plan to approach Yogi Aaron with a retreat we’d like to have at Blue Osa in 2015! While I continue to work full-time with my day job, I’m excited about my yoga teachings I’m able to offer on the side and what the future holds for me.
Our yoga teachings included being selfless and a sense of community. I’ve been involved in volunteer activities with youth services and equality programs in San Diego. I’ve connected with a non-profit my family has been involved in that builds schools in under-developed areas of Pakistan where I was born. My mother and I are planning a trip to Pakistan this year to visit some of the schools and meet the children who now have opportunities that I have been blessed with in my life.
I have a journal book from my 30 days at Blue Osa, and I carry this with me as my book of inspiration. When I want to feel encouraged and present in the moment, I will look at my notes from Day 3 at Blue Osa with the quote from Yogi Aaron: “Work hard, put everything you have into everything you do, do it selflessly. The purpose of your life is what you are now.” And when I am within the 4 corners of my yoga mat or wherever I am in life, I remind myself of a quote introduced on Day 21 from the Radiance Sutras “I belong here, I am at home.”