The Transformative Power of Yoga

Published on 17 March 2024 at 07:47

A potential unique to each individual 


I have learned that, ultimately, we don’t get to put stipulations on the changes needed in our lives, which can be scary. I went through a harrowing period in my life when every ounce of security, safety, stability, and control was swept away in what seemed like an instant.  Currently, I feel a sense of soul-deep well-being, but this period of transformation was massive and -it - was- sweeping. I don’t wish such drastic and sudden change on anyone, but I do wish for less suffering, and this is part of my story and part of my path to less suffering.


What does this have to do with yoga? Before the time in my life when everything blew up, I regularly practiced Ashtanga yoga. This type of yoga sequence is a lengthy breath-focused yoga practice in which the same series of stretching poses are repeated in each session.  It is a practice meant to cleanse the nervous system and clear it of blockages so that vital energy can flow more freely within your mind-body system. A spiritual philosophy is connected to this type of yoga, but the focus is primarily on breathing and moving through poses. It is suggested that if you practice regularly, you will not need to study philosophy much because understanding will come naturally as a result of your practice. 


I had been doing yoga fairly regularly (about 1-2 times a week) for about five years before discovering Ashtanga. I didn’t know much about yoga in a historical or philosophical sense. I would just go to affordable classes whenever and wherever I could find them. I had never heard of Ashtanga yoga and didn’t seek it out, but instead stumbled upon it in a back alley of a Nicaraguan city.  I didn’t know what the practice was designed to do, and I didn’t know its potential power. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of change it was generating within me and the potential consequences of these changes.  Now that I find myself in a position to teach yoga, I feel a sense of responsibility to share what I know and what I learned the hard way. While it can be heavy, as in, not all bliss-love-and-light, it isn't a burden at all to share.


I consider yoga practice a potentially strong medicine. The practice can generate a powerful healing force within your body that people call many different things. I believe the most widely known names for this vital energy are Chi and Prana, which have their roots in Chinese and Indian medicine, respectively.  The best way I can describe Prana from my own experience is as a subtle electrical current pulsing within and throughout the body. Imagine a gentle electric hum of a lightbulb, only silent. This energy can be strengthened through intentional, conscious breathing and skilled movement (aka yoga), and when it is strengthened, it can clear blockages in our system. This is a very good thing, but if you are not prepared, it can also be scary, as was the case for me. Having experienced this firsthand and having gone from chronic progressive severe pelvic pain, anxiety, addiction, and insomnia to none of these things, I’m perplexed why our western healthcare system doesn’t embrace and encourage yoga as a legitimate preventative and integrative form of healthcare. All I know is what I have experienced. 


If you don’t want anything to change, a yoga practice might not be for you, and that is perfectly fine. If you are interested in change, deep healing, and transformation, I encourage you to follow where your interest leads you with reverence for what is possible. 


My practice is evolving, and I am learning so much every day. I am enjoying it more than ever, and truth be told, I am starting to experience more of the bliss-love-light aspect of yoga that we hear so much about. This is wonderful, but I would and could never ignore the potentially difficult aspects one may go through as blockages are clearing and knots are untying along the way. 


I am here to share what I sense might be helpful and the things I wish I had known.  Even if physical practice isn’t for you, maybe just a few words about it now and again are all you need.


Love to you and glad you are here. 

Megan Rose

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