My first introduction to yoga was at the age of 17 in 1996 in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co.Leitrim where I attended 2 classes. I found them both to be extremely difficult, firstly because I didnt understand the principles of yoga (non-harm, non-competitive etc) and thought ‘I have to get this right even if im struggling!’ and secondly because I was looking around wanting to look like everyone else who were really good, so I forced my body into postures that were way beyond my 2 hours of yoga experience. Hence the fact I didnt go back as I thought ‘this is too hard..I’ll never be able to practice yoga like that! (I just didnt realise that with patience, loving care, non-judgement of myself, working with my breath and non-competiveness I could actually gently guide myself into the practice) and thoroughly envelope myself in blissful meditation at the end.
8 years later at the age of 25 I went travelling with my husband through South East Asia, Austrailia and New Zealand, I attended numerous workshops and courses in each of these countries and found a bright new experience into yoga.
I went onto accept yoga with open arms due to the fact that it made me feel lighter in mind, body and spirit, it opened my eyes more to let go of my ego and not to judge others as this was usually a reflection of my own insecurities.
My main reasons for wanting to practice yoga was that it helped me to release the ‘ego’ and uncertainty I had about myself and find the true meaning of being still and accepting myself (flaws and all!) for who I am without judgement. I found true contentment and inner peace by starting to understand myself through self practice, meditation and enquiry.
Even if I only get to stand / sit / balance on my mat for 30 minutes in the day or night it helps keep me focused, aware and strong in my every day life.
The people that come to my class are asked to come with an open mind (even if they have experienced other yoga classes) they are encouraged & constantly reminded to focus solely on oneself and the breath in order to put the ‘inner mind chatter’ to oneside for there pracitce.
As Yoga is non-competitive my method of teaching would be to gently remind everyone that once you step onto your mat, leave the ego at the door, and concentrate soley on yourself, even if a posture doesnt quite look like your ‘neighbours’ doesnt mean you are not gaining benefits. Some people will pull and tug at themselves to get into the so called ‘end / perfect posture’ this is wrong and should be avoided at all times (you are allowing the ego to enter in again by thinking ‘I am not not good enough if I dont shove myself into this posture) Yoga is a life long journey and there is no end result, we need to learn to live in the present moment – not wishing ‘oh how I would love to do a headstand like the person beside me’! – Anyway, Life would be quite boring if we all the looked and performed the same!
I try to get the message across in my teachings that you are ‘wonderful just the way you are’ and by practicing yoga you are preserving that ‘wondefulness’ and putting back what life stresses and strains has taken out. It is time to give back to yourself and learn to really LOVE, look after, and heal any upset in your mind, body and soul.
Namaste. Love & light.
Tara ( Siri )
Tara Killeen Yoga is associated with the YTTC in Ireland and the British Wheel of Yoga.