I have anything against Zumba, swimming, racing, Pilates or fencing. In my opinion, all these physical practices may positively impact people on many levels. However, there is a big difference: yoga offers an inward journey.

That means disconnecting from the external world to observe how we are inside. It also intends to (gently) tell the mind to shut up for a while or, at least, lower its voice. If you have already lost interest in reading and you make an effort to stay with me, you will be overcoming the first of the fears: to know more.

It is impossible to explore something that we do not know that even exists, and that is why I want to share my experience. So you can see the difference between being aware of yourself and not being aware at all.

My name is María (del Rosario too), and I was born thirty-nine years ago in València. I could add a long list of things that have happened to me and that do not define my nature, but that transformed me to this day. I am not who other people think I am. I am not even who I think I am; all of these opinions and tags are additions to my True Self that is unique, like yours, but at the same time it is the same. Lost? Confused? I’ll do my best to explain myself. Yoga has taught me to understand that things are not what they are, but how we are. My perception, as a result of my experiences and my reaction to them, is what makes me see my reality, which is different from yours and everyone else’s; and that it is also impermanent.

Photography by Arlette Olaerts

I cannot change many of the external conditions that affect me, nor my past, and I do not want to do it either anyway. However, there was a time when I would have loved to do Control + Z and not have lived the uncomfortable things that, due to my perception of reality or the unpleasant nature of the experience, made me suffer. And then a transformation arrived.

A kind of magic

Through years of practice of yoga and meditation, I’ve learned that I can connect to myself at every moment and observe. I may find sadness and joy, calm or anxiety, anger, stillness… I see all of that, and I let it go without trying to deny my unpleasant emotions or become addicted to the most pleasurable ones. They come and go. Hello and goodbye. And knowing that my natural state of being is stillness and that being able to touch it is a daily practice, has taken such a tremendous weight off my back.

For too many years of my life, I have put a sticker size XXL on my forehead that said: I am hyperactive, I do not stop, I do not have time to eat, nor I’m interested, I work, work, work.

And then, I have to show everyone that I can do it, what I get is equal to what I am worth, I am never enough, I will try hard until I fall, and since it will not have been perfect either, I will start thinking that I am even less and that I have failed.

And so, I worked my fingers to the bone at home, with my friends, at work, doing sports … And nothing was enough merely because I was not the version of me that I had made up in my mind.

How awful.

Conscious suffering vs suffering

When I can reflect my reality from calmness, suddenly everything becomes relative and transitory. I suffer, for sure, but now I do it consciously. And in that conscious sadness or anger, I know that everything is impermanent. And just that allows me to feel much better. And that is where yoga and meditation help me so much. And what a different life!

I invite you to look and listen to yourself, to give you what you need and to thank you for it. I welcome you to the beautiful journey inward in which you will discover that you always shone. And that you will shine even more knowing that it is the only thing that you have come to do here and now.

I invite you.

Today.

With love,

María