Meet Mona the Yogipreneur
I started doing yoga through the inspiration of my friend who does it as well. I was on a plane when I saw a picture on a magazine of a lady doing a Lotus Pose. It looked really nice and calm with its background so I told myself I would do it as well. My other friend, who was with me on that trip, and I found a beautiful and quiet beach in Hong Kong. I told her to take me a picturejust like that Lotus Pose on the magazine. I posted it on Facebook. Not to show that I knew how to do yoga because I didn’t but just to show that that place was serene and could be used for some relaxation and meditation. Then my friend (the one who does yoga) saw it and commented and said, “Mona, you do yoga as well?” Of course I said, “No.” Two weeks later we met in Bali and there I got my so called “initiation.” She told me to do this pose and that pose, and you know, she didn’t settle for those simple ones. She asked me to do the Crane Pose, Wheel Pose and the intimidating Hand Stand. Except for the Hand Stand Pose which I required a wall, I managed to do poses slowly and patiently; enabled myself to recognize where in my body did I get that strength. Then she said, “I can see a room for improvement. You should go, join a class and learn it with a teacher.”
So after that month’s vacation, I came back to where I live now, in Vietnam. I didn’t go directly to enroll in a class. I was already quite convinced but I needed to have that proper mindset that I was doing it because I told myself, “Once I am in, there is no turning back.” It took me a month to decide and finally went. I somehow pleased my teachers because I was like a student in a classroom who always raise his hand to answer the teacher’s questions. I gave my absolute attention and tried the best I muster. I also did my homework by practicing at home and didnâ€™t stop until I did a pose properly.
I asked my teacher when she was showing us the Turtle Pose, “For how long does it take to side split with chest and chin on the floor?” She answered me which at that time, in the beginning stage of my practice, didn’t make sense at all. I wanted an exact answer – a week, 20 days, a month, because I wanted to give myself a time frame, but she just simply said, “It depends on the individual.” Eventually, after years of practice I understood what she meant. Our flexibility and strength may differ from one another but Yoga is not only about strength and flexibility. It is a discipline. While it approaches us in a form of physical exercise, beyond it are lessons to be learned. Simplicity and humility is what struck me the most. Patience and endurance came first. Once you hit the mat and daily live to recognize more about your practice and yourself, gradually values unfold and people see it in you. Your body is the evidence and your meekness in words echoes it.
I visited my parents back home, my Mom asked me while my Dad was taking me pictures of some poses, “For how long will you do this?” My Dad, sensing my passion and enthusiasm answered for me, “She has to do it all her life.” And he hit the nail on the head. This is a lifetime venture which favors our well-being. For that matter, I would dare embrace it and live with it for the rest of my life.
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