Yoga for life

Yoga for life

How to take yoga on a lifelong journey with you, through it all. By Yas Knegt

A while back, having come from an abusive relationship with elements of domestic violence, not only had my mind been suffering from that phase and its tantrums (where one wants to save and fix and heal while being emotionally and energetically used up) but my body had also been suffering immensely.

I had come in contact with people who were leading a lifestyle of procrastination, drug abuse, and misogyny, and the effects of that were now showing on my body as well. I was tired all the time, mostly using the bed in a depressive state of being, not eating properly, neglecting my body as well as stuffing it up, like my other half had been doing for a longer time, and I was not infected with this style of self-abuse, and frankly, it could show in every aspect of my life.

I had been doing yoga for about 10 years now, and even during that phase, I had not abandoned yoga, but also, yoga had not abandoned me. Throughout this time, any pressure or pain or abuse from the outside that I endured, yoga had become my refuge where I could lose the negative energy and gain back my sense of self and health.

I would imagine that no matter what outside elements would try to affect me, I was not going to be harmed because it was me and yoga against the world. Or at least, parts of it we can come in contact with, once we leave our own healthy bubble, that is a representation of the abuse of mind and body. Yoga was what made me keep holding on to the principles of healthy living before that time frame. Because I was doing yoga, stretching and bending my body aligned with my breath, no matter what was happening to me, each time I would recall my purpose in life: that of a healthy life, leading to a happy life. And together with yoga, opening up the heart, and not just stretching the body!

For me, yoga is not just sport, or something that came from the east to the west and is now being copied on a larger scale with profit. For me, yoga is a lifestyle, a choice, and a path, towards healing both the mind and the body, through alignment with the breath, practicing resilience, and patience in hopeful repetition and a chance to grow in that, as well as achieving health for the body, and peace for the mind.

But above all, for me, yoga is a representation of life that keeps bending us backwards and folding us and surprising us and challenging us .But as long as we hold on to our principles and carry on with determination, it will reward us with health, and make us happy in return, because it allows us to work through our issues. And that is truly what yoga does: each time I am on the mat, it is an opportunity to better myself, refind the alignment of my breath with my body, help find a balance between pushing myself and relaxing, to find my core. And at the same time, to be confronted with the issues of my mind; the thoughts that come in, the restlessness that we all might know, comes to us when we have to stay a bit longer in that particular challenging pose, the one we hate. Because then all our internal issues keep coming up as well. And that is a confrontation worth having.

And that ultimate pose - the most important, a yoga teacher might say - the Savasana, through which we release ourselves into a sleep state of being, relaxing and trusting into it.

Yes, yoga is a healing tool, a tool to exercise the mind and body, and to release the mind into a state of free thinking and health, but above all, if we dare trust in the poses, in the process, and in the teacher, and our own body, yoga is a tool to open our heart. And that is worth everything to me!


Yas Knegt

former medical student researcher, writer and at times blogger, who is in love with the quest for creating awareness for medical issues, yoga, psychological and emotional issues and the issues that affect the world, and the preservation of its nature. She is trying to do that now by way of social media and as a writer. Also completed teacher training in Vinyasa yoga.