What is the one good thing that came out of COVID19?
Family quality time and connection with the communities regardless of the physical distance.
Do you have a daily gratitude practice?
I do yes, upon waking up before even taking my 1st step of the new day, i put my hands in prayer and I say thanks for a brand new healthy day. I also have a gratitude journal, in which I love to put in writing what/whom I'm grateful for.
If someone cannot feel gratitude, what can he or she do?
Definitely trying to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes we could get in this mindset that everything bad/negative is happening to us and/or around us, but when we allow ourselves to take a step back and see at the situation with a different/cleaner lens, a sense of gratitude can be felt by realizing that X, Y, or Z is not as bad as it looked.
Is there a relationship between yoga and gratitude?
The practice of yoga has the capacity to teach us how to actively practice gratitude, by looking at things, people and situation from a more understanding and compassionate standpoint. From not overreacting over a water spill on the floor to not being able to do a certain asana one day. (just a quick example on how we can practice gratitude towards others and within ourselves).
Why should someone practice gratitude?
The practice of gratitude allows the practitioner to be motivated, in appreciation, noticing the people and the things around him/her. The opportunity to be kind, compassionate, lovable with themselves and with others. It is a practice that not only benefit the practitioner but also those around. It also allows the thankful/grateful soul to be more present on the NOW!!!
Do you have anything to add on the subject of gratitude?
I strongly feel that if more people practice gratitude, and embody it whenever and wherever he/she goes, more and more people around them benefit from it by seeing it, feeling it and with that a ripple effects gets create it. Inspiring others to practice gratitude, and those others, and so on and so forth. The world could truly benefit more from grateful souls walking on Earth.
Jessica Zayas is a medical technologist and yoga practitioner in Miami, Florida, USA. Her inspiring yoga journey teaches us that every asana (posture) in yoga goes beyond the physical. There is a personal meaning, spiritual implication and/or attitudinal purpose that we can attach to each and every asana. If this article resonates with you, please leave comment and share this with others.
The benefits of yoga are numerous: from reducing stress to improving posture, flexibility, and stability. It aids in developing body awareness: from sensations to needs to resistance. It helps with concentration, with the mind-body connection — something that here in the West is sometimes seen as two separate worlds, when they're not... Why not give it a try and see what your experience is!
What does yoga mean to you?
To me, yoga means balance, awareness, and connection within me and with others. It is a holistic way of living to me, with a purpose on Earth during my visit. It means to share with as many souls as possible the different ways to bring meaning into their lives, by being mindful, and conscious. By also being at ease, kind and grateful.
When did you first start practicing yoga and why?
I first started practicing yoga about two years ago. One of the reasons was because I wanted to try something I had never done before. There was also so much anxiety and stress building up in my mind and body that it was affecting me and pretty much all of my closest human beings.
Were you ever resistant to learn yoga?
I was definitely not. On the contrary, when I started, my first class was Aerial Yoga and what that did was open my eyes to the fact that there was so much more to learn, explore, embody and share.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Yoga has provided me with the tools and I'm sure, there are more to keep on adding to my tools box -- to navigate through life. From being more aware of my feelings, thoughts, actions, and expressions to being more understanding, not only with others, but also with myself -- something I didn't know how to do. I have shifted to a better version of myself, and yes, I still get caught up in the moment, because of stress, rush, external noises, but I can safely say that now. I'm aware and awake to recognize the meaning of the moment and decide whether or not to act, say, or do. That's why I say: "I am Yoga." Because when I say, "I do yoga", it is just the time that I'm on my mat. Whereas "I am Yoga", to me, is embodying all that yoga is about, which is much more than just transitioning from asana to asana (posture) .
Why should someone practice yoga?
The benefits of yoga are numerous from reducing stress to improving posture, flexibility, and stability. It aids in developing body awareness, from sensations, to needs, to resistance. It helps with concentration, with mind and body connection, something that here in the Western is sometimes seen as two separate worlds, when they're not. All these and more in many different ways, which can be what someone out there needs, and if that someone is in need of one of the above mentioned, or just in curiosity, then why not give it a try, and see what your experience is!!!
What are your favourite asanas and why?
My favourite asanas are quite a few. Besides their benefits to the body in strengthening muscles and activating some of the internal organs, they are important because what they represent to me.
Vriksasana (tree pose): Although I'm rooted thru my standing leg, I can keep on reaching high by expanding my branches and, with that, getting to others' souls.
Bakasana (crow): To me, this pose represents balance and body coordination
All variations of virabhadrasana (warrior pose), for me, mean stability, inner strength, and humility -- the skills that I have needed, and continue applying, in order to move forward on this beautiful journey of life.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog): Allows me to calm my brain, to slow down.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to express my deepest gratitude for this opportunity that Ayurooms is sharing with me. Although we are miles away, it is very meaningful how can we all connect thru our yoga lives. With so much gratitude from my heart to the world. Namaste 🙏
Visit Jessica's personal blog