Why Did I Start To Embrace Yoga Into My LifeLuke Coutinho
A couple of years ago, I looked down upon yoga, smirked upon it, said it’s for old people, it’s so slow and just some fancy flexible body doing stuff. With super high testosterone levels, my mind pressed towards heavier weights, aggressive sprints and HIIT. My mind was fast, aggressive and irritable when things didn’t go my way, blind to so many of my own limiting behaviours.
I can easily say while I care for my patients, and my loved ones, I was beginning to be more self centered in my approach towards living. It was more of just my work, my patients, my study time, my writing time, etc. A few teachers along my path tried to instil the practice of yoga and pranayama into my life, but I was moving too fast. Zero regrets, as that was a phase in my life where I probably needed to be who I was and to be who I am today.
Then, a couple of years ago, I had the privilege to be coached one on one by a pranayama teacher and those 45 minutes were “life changing”. She was an elderly lady, teaching Vipassana and yoga for years and the way she simplified it for me was just amazing. Simple works for me always. Complication is a turn off. I fell in love with it. My body had always been far from flexible, and she explained how the prana and a flexible body works hand in hand. I was all in. I started to practice simple asanas, pranayamas, on and off. Travel would be my excuse and lack of time, to just punish the body with 30 mins of HIIT since I didn’t have time. The thing was I would have made time, if I had assigned value to that hour for yoga and breathing.
On my last trip to Newyork, before the lock down, three of my morning patients at Sloans hospital cancelled because of some reason or the other. I was on my way to meet them. So, I stopped at Central Park, my favourite place. With about 4 hours free on hand, I decided to dedicate an hour to my yoga and breathing. It was 2 hours amidst nature and the sounds of NYC when I finally opened my eyes. The rest of my day was magic. Energy, clarity of thought and such a good feeling. I realised that this was my morning lynchpin and the way to start my day.
Then, we entered a lockdown where travel came to a halt and I could use morning time as my sacred time for my practice. Yoga has grown on me and today even if I just have 10 mins, I will do at least one or two asanas, 5 mins of breathing and some meditation, no matter what. Yes, there are mornings when I don’t do anything, and I’m ok with that. The next day, I am back on track. I allowed what yoga has taught me to slip into my daily life. The lessons that come from holding an asana, being mindful about coordinating my breath with every move, the ability to sit in silence with the breath and the beauty in the feeling of mindfulness. My body has surely gotten a little more flexible. There is much work to be done, but the breath has gotten deeper and more with rhythm.
When I’m caught in stressful events, conversations, etc, I am mindful about practicing balance, even though in some cases, I just lose it and it feels good to lose it too, but it’s back to the practice after that. I am able to stay in the pause for a bit before the response. I know I was a people pleaser, but my practice has taught me to respect and be happy with who I am, accept and let go more easily, say what I want with my heart and with no fear.
I know for sure, most of the things that would bother me before, no longer do as I gently move my attention and energy mindfully away from them, every time the thoughts or memory comes up. Now, that’s a beautiful feeling .
Now we and our yoga experts teach our patients across the globe the practice of yoga, meditation, deep breathing, intention setting, gratitude, life lessons as a part of their prescription along with other lifestyle changes that we believe, play a powerful role in prevention, healing and evolution at a personal level.
I have kept my practice simple, and fun, but I’ve added a powerful dose of D & C (discipline and consistency) to it. Like the journey of life is ongoing and with continuous learning, so is my path with yoga.
It’s a beautiful practice and way of living, and I hope it touches people’s lives in some way like it touched mine.
Happy World Yoga Day.
- Luke Coutinho
Also read – Is Yoga Just About Asanas?
From a pimple to cancer, our You Care Wellness Program helps you find a way
Talk to our integrative team of experts today