Yoga Made Me a MAN:  Part 1

17-18 years old.

Through photography, text and different forms of self-expression, “Yoga Made me a Man” is a series of entries chronicling my journey from evolving from a mid-teenager into a young adult.  Through 10 years (and counting) in-depth commitment through yoga, health and wellness, diet & nutrition; these posts help to provide insight, wisdom and compassion from life-experiences in an uncensored, raw and heartfelt way.  Consider this as a telling of the path of Hiiro Prince to demystifying his “True Identity.”

Yoga saved my life from a path that was filled with confusion, pain and self-doubt and worthlessness.

Adolescence is a process where for some, it surfaces questions without answers to follow them accordingly. This provides us as teenagers the internal prompt whether we acknowledge ourselves OR project outwardly through actions of some shape or form.

There was a period of my life where I didn’t know where to turn to, who to look up to as a guide, mentor or figure of leadership and mentoring.

This is where Yoga… Made Me a MAN

Yoga taught me that as many teachers and inspirations it may offer, given we speak of them as reflections, mirrors, like-minded drifting spirits… there’s always the arrow pointing back at our heart, the vibration rippling through our veins.

As an adolescent I knew quite a lot in certain aspects, other’s I knew absolutely nothing… however I knew enough to fight my own way to a yoga class in order to say consciously… –

“Hiiro, you need to do this NOW, otherwise you potentially may continue looking at yourself this way in this self-portrait and never begin to purge and heal. Get yourself some self-help and commit commit commit… once you do so, never turn back and continue to run..”

And so that’s what I did, after a solid year of trying my hardest to walk up a couple flights of stairs to take a yoga class and turning away each time in anxiety and fear of judgment, I slingshotted my body into the studio and two hours later I felt different.

It took major courage and perseverance to shut off my brain’s dialogue saying to me NOT to go to yoga, to stay in my bubble of desensitization and misperceptions. Sometimes I cried even when I scurried onto my mat, afraid of talking to someone I never met, a stranger who very well may’ve been where I was… scared and lonesome, simply needing a friendly face to share some loving energy with.

Yoga has been there since I let it be part of my life, it has been a daily purpose to wake up and even without any purpose or drive to make something of my day, I still went to class and travelled wherever I felt the need to in order to get through the process. Bussing an hour to and from plus class itself, It became the best 3-4 hour journey of my daily routine with it eventually becoming a discipline.

Yoga has been one of the longest commitments I’ve ever had in my life to date, everything else including school or formalized education never lasted as long as my yoga.

Yoga IS my ‘school’ for me, I get to experience a bountiful array of teachers with their own approaches to the yoga practice, it’s a way to fully become integrated in my body, mind, heart, soul, spirit, psyche and so forth… where else can I discover my own potential in that way, plus on my own account?

I am grateful and humble for this yoga practice that has been my daily practice and life commitment, it has truly rescued me from a path of loss, grief, sorrow, pain, suffering and trauma… allowing me to let go of what was in the past and burning up any reasons or excuses for me to be less then who I am.

No matter what cycles and waves I pass through now in my current age of life, I always ask myself one simple and blunt question…

Q: Am I Dead OR Alive….?
A: Breathe… then practice YOGA, Repeat if needed.

To Be Continued …..

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