Nicholas Fiorito, Ki Yoga Trainer, Path to Enlightenment Trainer
Whenever I have the good fortune to welcome a new member to one of my classes, inevitably I’m often asked, “What made you start practicing yoga?”
I think anyone who’s adopted this physical and spiritual discipline has their own unique story about what inspired them to embrace a yoga discipline - and I’m no different.
In short, I started yoga in order to change my lifestyle.
I first began taking yoga classes back when I was in graduate school at Harvard Divinity. Interestingly enough, although my studies in philosophy and religion were inspired by my inner desire to find some meaning in an otherwise meaningless life, I didn’t approach yoga with any spiritual aspirations.
Interacting within a self-serving society can be daunting at times. I found myself growing increasingly more frustrated with individuals who often spoke freely of a spiritual existence, but practiced very little of those teachings in their own day to day lives. Soon I found myself living a life of physical extremes to try and combat my outward and inner dissatisfaction with life.
After years of multiple martial arts programs and literally hours spent pushing myself at the gym, my body had fallen victim to my own persistence. My joints ached regularly and I could no longer go on simple runs or even do menial exercise without finding myself utterly exhausted afterwards.
I had convinced myself that all this physical activity was truly for my overall health, but what I started to understand was that I was using them to deny feelings and emotions I couldn’t process any other way. Unhappy with myself and the life I was leading, I took out all the frustration and negativity on my body, which now was becoming unusable.
Fully embracing yoga and all of its spiritual healing properties was the first step I took to really loving and caring for my body and myself. To say “thank you” and “I love you” were huge steps in my journey to obtaining an inner lifestyle of wellness and happiness.
Many years later, I still find meaning and inspiration from my yoga teachings and hope to continue living a healthy life filled with joy and utter appreciation for the gifts I’ve been bestowed.
Though personal exploration is never easy, maybe it’s time you examine your motivations in life and determine if a change of lifestyle is in order.
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”