Yogis of Karma - Natosha Sanders

Natosha is one of our newest additions to our amazing team on instructors. She recently graduated from Summit Denton's 200TT program, and we are so grateful to have her in the Karma Family. She shares what yoga has brought into her life and reflections on her practice in this weeks yogis of Karma post. 


In all honesty, I fear knowing the type of person I would have become had it not been for me starting my practice at the pivotal age of 20 years old. Yoga means the world to me. I could write a novel about every personal and universal epiphany I have had in a yoga class. It is nearly  impossible to even start to count how many people have touched my life in a positive way thanks to yoga. My childhood was not easy to say the least, and for some reason I had not dealt with that until I became a young adult. I realized the severity of its effects on me around the age of 19. I was living on my own for the first time after breaking up with who I thought was the love of my life. I was alone while the toughest parts of my entire life started to bubble up towards the surface. All while trying to figure out how to financially support myself with no help. It was super duper scary. Thankfully, a kind hearted couple  I babysat for decided to open a yoga studio and wanted me to help them out. They believed in me. It meant so much, I had no idea I was about to begin the best journey of my young adult life. I was submerged in this loving and supportive community of people that were genuinely interested in who I was, how I felt  and what I had to say. I giggled all the way through my first yoga class due to the fact that I was incapable of every single pose. Because I was surrounded by such a supportive community, my feeble first attempt at yoga left me feeling young, light and liberated instead of embarrassed. My practice blossomed and the more yoga that I allowed into my life, the more my soul began to feel whole again. I have strayed away from the practice time and time again but it has been the one thing I can always come back to. The constant I could count on. The past five years have taught me so many life truths and now as a RYT, I can share them with the world.

Here are a few for you to digest;

You can not pour from an empty cu.
If you do not take time for yourself, to do something that both challenges and excites you…..how exactly are you spending your free time? How can you give to others if you have nothing to
give?

Do not be afraid to be alone.
Yoga has empowered me to try my best to be comfortable in every uncomfortable situation that arises in life. I feel like a lot of people avoid being alone due to what may come up in their minds because of the silence that arises from lack of distraction. I found this place on my mat and even though you are in a room full of people, your thoughts are going all over the place. Finding comfort in the inner workings of your mind helps you form strategies for dealing with obstacles both on and off your mat Yes,working through those thoughts is not an easy task but once you get there….you feel so liberated and capable.

If you do not like who you are, you have the power to change that.
Yoga teaches awareness on a multifaceted level. Mind body and soul. You do not have to give in to who you think you are and how you think you fail. For example, I used to be a an angry
person, I was mad at the things in my past that I could not control. I did not have the tools to
change the way I saw my past. What I needed was a way to decide my future. Change is a
constant in this life. Change does not just happen to you though, your choices and thoughts
determine who you are. Not the outside world. Not other people. One day I decided I did not
want to be angry any more, it will be a life long journey to change that but it starts with
awareness.

The journey is so much more fulfilling than reaching the destination itself.
If you try to skip ahead in yoga by making your body fit into a pose, you will hurt yourself. Yoga takes time—lots of it. Embrace that along with focus and patience, and you will have the time of your life in every single pose, in every single class. Life is the same way.

Just breathe.
Take a moment to relax before you do or say something you will regret. Conscious breathing is a silly term if you do not fully understand the lavish amount of benefits that it brings to the table. I could write three more pages about mindful breathing in general but I’ll sum it up like this­ the type of breath used in yoga helps you balance, deepen a pose, move and focus. That can be transferred from your mat into real life in countless ways.

Surround yourself with the type of people that you want to be like.
Choose these people carefully, do not let other people and their bad choices determine your
world. In this ever growing society, we have lost a sense of community and it saddens me to see that we do not always have the time to look out for one another. Yoga gives you a safe place with like minded people to be free and really embrace positive changes. Like attracts like.

Be excited about life, do this by staying in the present moment.
There is a balance, and that means there is just as much “good” in this world as there is “bad”. So why not just go ahead and dwell on the pleasant one? Stopping the smell the roses or reveling in the small things as some may say….these things sound corny but that’s where all of life’s juiciness comes from! Perspective is important and it is a choice that you make every second of every day. No one is perfect at this, but trying is all that matters.

Find every opportunity you can be be grateful.
This is the most important one. That is why I saved it for last. If you are reading this, chances areyou have eaten today, you have clean water to drink and bathe in and you are rich enough to afford yoga and the internet. So stop complaining and get over yourself. You are incredibly
lucky, luckier than most people on this earth. Do not take that for granted for a single second and see how quickly your life changes. The transformation that comes from this realization has the potential for exponential growth.

 Ever since I’ve started teaching yoga and deepening my practice further, my world has opened up. I hope you find this too in your journey, because it is there and it is abundant. I wish this feeling upon every single person I meet.