Yoga Story! My Journey of Transformation – Irana JiAn
Life is a journey, from knowing others to knowing yourself!
From self-training to self-enlightenment!
From destination to the route forward!
Before I started practicing Yoga, being an introvert, sensitive and artistic person- I looked for my own wholeness in relationships, substances and a self-destructing life that lead me to alienation from myself: I was depressed.
At that time, I was teaching ballet classes to children and had a ceramics studio in the small Island in Greece where we live.
I met yoga, back in 1992. It was when I first traveled to India in Banaras and then began practicing yoga with a book during my first pregnancy.
At that time Yoga was just physical for me, I liked to move and I knew my body from my life experience as a dancer, and felt good when I practiced but I wasn’t aware of the spiritual aspects of it.
It just felt balancing to me. Until one day, on the mat, realized I was going to get sick if I didn’t get myself together. So I-adamantly- decided to change my life, to go for the light.
“If you are searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror. ”
So I practiced and I liked to breathe and my body started feeling well, my diet changed, I quit smoking cigarettes, I quit drinking, quit eating meat. Everything happened very organically.
Whatever was not serving the process of the clearing was dropping off my life.
Same happened with situations and people I used to hang out with: everything that didn’t encourage my new path just faded peacefully away.
I started to teach yoga, as a physical practice- just power yoga, body-based.
But I was being healed through my deep aspiration and my disciplined practice.
And as this happened, I was changing, and my life was changing.
When we transform ourselves, our life transforms and the lives of those closest to us change our whole life changes.
I would practice for long 4-5 hours and holding poses for a long time, sometimes having big emotional experiences out of these practices…
..and I will push myself through the muscular tension but only with the intention to get stronger and more flexible.
During those practices, I became the observer of my own emotions…
..and begun to witness them, it was then, that I understood – yoga is not about the asana/postures…
..but the practice of yoga is a path out of suffering through understanding and observing the kleshas.
At that time, I started my Zen meditation practice and studies and I began to have glimpses of the connection to something higher, to trust life and myself.
Then the boom of yoga came to Greece and I did my first teacher training with the intention of having a certificate and deepening my skills as an instructor.
I chose to focus on the practice and teaching of yoga only and opened a small Yoga studio at home, only 6-8 students will fit in.
After teaching at my studio, I drive around the island at different times a day to teach in every Gym, community space, and private houses.
I was teaching seventeen to twenty hours a week for eleven years and practicing myself!
When I look back at that time, I can only tell you that the strength and the will that is available to us, is immeasurable.
Yoga connects us to our inherent source of power and awakening brings with it the empowerment.
So that period was a turning point in my journey and from that moment there was a shift in the way I perceived myself: I had found my own path and dharma.
I had changed, and from that day on information was available to me through the practice directly into my heart.
“No matter where you are, as compared to where you can be.”
From that moment on I started to explore the mind-body connection and to experience Yoga as a practice of embodiment.
I began to investigate trauma and observe its patterns- on and off the mat- and how trauma gets stored and lives in the body-mind and pollutes our lives.
I started working very specifically with the chakras and (the Yogic system that underlies this science)…
..the Chakras are energetic vortexes or centers in the body that physiologically are connected to specific glands and influence particular parts of the body-mind, relate to specific emotional issues and aspects of our life.
According to the traumas we have lived in our lives, these wounds create imprints and patterns that unbalance these energetic centers, either making them too active or too passive…
..and therefore blocking our ability to move forward in life with ease and stopping us from experiencing joy and inner peace.
Based on my personal experience, the science of yoga, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras (the ethics of Integrity & the Chakra system), as the foundation of my work, I began to teach Yoga Flow as a transformational experience for healing, awakening, and empowerment…
..Always with an experiential approach, always learning, studying and investigating.
Later on, I met, in India, my actual teacher, who introduced me to the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, in Auroville-India…
..and went myself through the Integral purification that ultimately transformed my life and the life of many souls who had the opportunity to experience this awakening with us in India and in our training at Yoga Shala Paros in Greece.
This conscious evolution begins with ourselves as individuals but ultimately opens ourselves to the collective through our personal Self-realization.
It allows us to experience that yoga is not about enlightenment but about becoming kinder, more truthful, more joyful and more loving.
This is where the individual transforms the collective. And our sole possibility to make this world better.
The practice of yoga teaches us that there is no separation, only connection. If we change ourselves and embody love and light, the world will change and reflect that light and love.
In 2011 I found Yoga Shala Paros in the Cyclades Islands- a sacred space -and began to teach the Integral Chakra Flow: Anapnoe Yoga as a journey of awakening, healing empowerment, and movement meditation.
In Anapnoe Yoga we begin with awareness through the body-mind because it’s important to start with the foundation where we understand not only how to build the yoga pose from the ground up, but also to stand on our own two feet.
We learn to connect to our breath, to observe our body and to understand the relationship we have with ourselves and the impact of our thoughts have on our health, wellness, and life.
Anapnoe Yoga is a yoga of awakening, an invitation to wake up, to release the tension, to move into vulnerability.
To let go. In Chakra Vinyasa we look more willingly, more closely and compassionately at some of the patterns that impact our choices and our ability to be in present time.
This journey begins to develop self-confidence, intuition, self-love, love for others and makes a shift in our perception as individuals within the collective.
My intention is that by,
- Practicing yoga,
- Being committed to these mindful practices,
- Doing the deep work that’s necessary on ourselves,
We may develop the empathy necessary so that we can go out to the world and be more loving, more truthful and more integrated human beings, to surrender to the Divine within and within all.
And if we are open, to begin to expand our perspective and understanding in a way perhaps we hadn’t been able to realize before.
“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was”
– Sade Andria Zabala
I wish you love, I wish you happiness, I wish you the truth, I wish you consciousness, I wish you aim to eternal light,
Designation Master Senior Integral Yoga Flow Teacher
Registered Trademark: Anapnoe Yoga
Irana JiAn Fouroulis: Yog’ratna
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