•DAY 81• Finding Happiness From Within

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For many, Yoga starts out as just another form of exercise sought by people from all backgrounds. After a while, though, you start to notice it has given you the thing you were actually looking for - unwavering happiness radiating from within. This is the magic of Yoga.

Read about one of our favorite yogis, Kathy, and how finding yoga has helped her discover her own happiness:

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After moving to the PNW in 2016 I joined YFL where my daughter Randi is an instructor. My yoga practice at that time was solely for exercise. After my first hatha class I told Randi I was bad and struggled with the standing balancing poses. Her response was, "Mom you are only bad because you thought you were bad." This instance helped me to understand I needed  to have a clear mind absent of thought while I practice . Before YFL, I had meditated, but it was only for stress reduction. After doing the daily practices in Nepal I discovered my energetic body. While on the retreat, I tried poses I never attempted before, one being the splits. This gave me the confidence to try more poses that I thought I was too old and not strong enough to do. I now understand the practice is not about doing the pose perfectly and more about the sensations you get from doing the pose. The studio has given me the courage to try challenging poses.   

In addition to asana practices, I've attended mediation classes, dharma talks and travelled with YFL. It has helped me understand that joy comes from within. Joy is not dependent upon people, places or things it's my own responsibility. I create my own reality. I have learned to be still, to listen, accept and not resist what I can’t change. It has helped me to cultivate the practice of saying yes to opportunities.  Before I retired I used to say no for various reasons: time, work, money, or fear. The Nepal retreat was life changing and since then I've blossomed. It helped me to be in alignment which has opened up my life. Up until that point of my yoga journey, yoga was seen purely as exercise. The experience in Nepal has helped me to cultivate a meditation practice which I incorporate into my daily routine now.

Raj Patra