The Path to Inner Peace through Yoga Practice

We are all in search of inner peace, each human being has his own way of reconnecting with his deep "I".

SeventyOne has taken the initiative to bring you the keys to understanding this path, through a renowned but above all ancestral practice: Yoga.
Estelle (aka South Yogini on social networks), originally from the South of France, left to finish her studies in the Irish capital (Dublin) where she was supposed to stay for 6 months. It was there that she discovered Yoga, very widespread and accessible to the greatest number of people in this vibrant and warm city where she finally stayed for 3 years. But before returning to France, she wanted to go further in her practice and undertook a year-long Vinyasa Yoga teacher training course.
On her return to France she started teaching a few friends here and there but word of mouth spread quickly and for 2 years now she has been giving classes several times a week! Today Estelle answers some of our questions to help us understand this growing practice.

Can you tell us what Yoga is?

The word "Yoga" means "Union", we talk about the union of body, mind & spirit, the union of the physical & subtle. It is a practice that originated in India thousands of years ago. Through several tools, it helps man to bring his attention back to the present and to connect to the "whole".
Yoga brings balance, a capacity to detach oneself and finally it is a call to serenity.

Everyone can practice?

Yes, everyone can practice.

Today, the most popular facets of Yoga are the "Asanas", the physical postures, and many people are initially attracted to this aspect in order to build strength, balance and flexibility.

However, yoga is not only a sequence of postures, but also the practice of breath control called "Pranayama", which is a group of breathing techniques. Meditation "Dhyana", another form of Yoga, is also popular and is more and more recommended in our fast moving society.

So yes, everyone can practice: you can work on your breathing without necessarily having to chain postures, or you can decide to meditate every morning without thinking about unrolling your mat, and conversely, you can unroll your body with the asanas, without meditating.

These are only 3 main aspects of yoga but there are still many, so you understand that there is something for every taste, every body and every desire!

How can this practice help the human being to refocus?

Our attention is constantly turned towards the outside, our mind is constantly drawn in and the amount of information we ingest every day is indecent. Western society is in this frenzy of "always more" and that is exactly why it is good to do Yoga.

With the different techniques explained above, everyone can find this inner peace by going out of his head (aka mental) and coming back into his body.To evolve, to connect one's body and one's head, it is essential?

The head is part of the body, but if you mean by the head the mind, then no, on the contrary it is necessary to be able to detach oneself from one's mind to reach this state of absolute well-being. What is essential is to be fully present, to manage to leave outside your mat everything that impacts you and does not serve you, does not pull you up.

It is essential to get to know yourself, to learn to accept yourself as you are in order to express yourself fully, authentically in order to reach freedom inside.

When does serenity intervene in practice?

It depends on each person and can vary from one practice to another! There are students who, from the very first session, come to tell me that it is incredible the state they are in at the end of the course and others for whom it will take longer. And then, depending on the days, what happens in our life in a more global way, we can reach this serenity more easily or with more difficulty than the day before and it's ok! The main thing is to have tried and maybe the next time will be more fluid and faster.

Can Yoga be beneficial to the practice of surfing?

Yoga is a very good ally for many other sports and surfing is one of them! By doing Yoga, you improve your tone, flexibility and balance, three things that are essential to surfing, right? By practicing certain positions you work on your physical condition, your relationship with your body and you learn to discover it in a different way. Breathing is also an essential element in every physical activity and thanks to "Pranayama", Yoga allows you to develop your lung capacities and teaches you to breathe correctly in all circumstances.

All of this allows you to progress and at the same time to avoid hurting yourself once you are on your board. Unrolling your mat is also a very good way to recover after the efforts made at sea thanks to the stretching that it offers!

To finish, I explained at the beginning of this interview that the word "Yoga" means "Union" and, tell me if I'm wrong but the union with the wave seems to me indispensable once you're standing on your board... Yoga helps you not to let yourself be overwhelmed by the unexpected and to become one between your body, your head and the sea.

And the chakras in all this?

The chakras, vast subject! To make it simple and to help you understand what the chakras are, I like to give the following image: imagine that the body is made up of thousands of small channels, small roads, through which the vital energy (called prana in Sanskrit) passes. At several places in the body there are roundabouts, energy wheels that allow these roads to go in another direction and thus the prana to go throughout the body. These "roundabouts" are the chakras! We know 7 main ones which are located along the spine but we have them everywhere in the body (hands, feet...)! I could tell you more about them but for a first approach I think it's already good to understand what the chakras are.

Credit photos : Studio Payol

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