I have been practicing yoga for almost eight years now, last two years of which is under the guidance of Franz Andrini. In fact, I have been doing different kinds of sports for all my life. I played basketball for more than 10 years, I swam and I even did athletics at young ages. I never had a problem with my weight; however, still I was not as slim as I wanted to be. After having started doing yoga with Franz, I realized a significant change with my body. I have been at the same weight for almost 20 years, but still I have lost weight and got thinner with yoga. I am a lot more at peace with my body now. It is such a pleasure to realize this fact from my friend’s observations. I frequently face questions, such as, “What have you been practicing lately?” or “How did you change that much at such short notice?” It is a huge joy to see my body getting more flexible than ever, and to do a number of asana, which are so hard that I could not do even when I was a little child. With the program, my body works at a different way than what I am used to by doing ordinary sports until recently. I could not imagine that hunger would decrease, if not disappear, with the breathing exercises and to relax so much that I would even fall asleep on the yoga mat in the middle of the day after an intense yoga exercise. And these things happen naturally. In the first few months, the change with my body was so strongly noticeable that I felt as if my blood was running through my legs for the first time! I could not imagine such an expansion of my ability of movement. It is also quite interesting to experience the detoxing effect of the program. For instance, all the dark circles and pockets under my eyes, caused by working with the computer for long hours were gone. There has been noticeable recovery with my skin too. I no longer need to put make up on or apply a concealer on my face. In addition, broadly speaking, I am more in control of myself (patience, anger, feelings etc.). I appreciate my own self and my surroundings more. To confess: I cannot claim that I can bear the traffic of Istanbul with patience all the time; I am not there yet, but I am on the way of getting there, as I react less compared to the past times. So, these are the observations that I could make about my own self. Effects of yoga in my life are not limited only with the above descriptions. Apart from the ones that can be realized by an outside observer, I live more important changes inside, with my inner world. For my inner world, there is not much to tell in order to describe the meaning of yoga has for me, in short it means “nearly everything”. It is a way of expressing and realizing myself, it is a way of increasing my consciousness, it is my way of existence in the universe, it is the revelation of my being everything and nothing and it is my way of communication with everything created.
I recognized this on the day when a wild cat of my friend literally kissed me. It watched me like a statute while I was practicing yoga, at that moment I felt the extraordinary ties built between the yoga asanas and a cat’s nature. Yoga is indeed a gift and discovery of a secret language. Yoga is going back to our purest state and it is the highest level of humanity.
- Husniye Cicekcioglu