• Looking Back at My Practice

    Yoga happens in the awareness of a deep breath amidst work calls. Yoga happens in the silence that calms a reactive mind. Yoga happens in the compassion and care I extend to others whenever possible.


    When I took my first yoga class, I wish I knew that I was making one of the best decisions ever. Before that day, I probably didn’t understand the meaning of the word “perseverance” and “consistency.” I was too young and distracted to really appreciate the gift that was presented to me.

    Nonetheless, I stuck around and practiced consistently without really knowing the impact that would have on every aspect of my life.

    I remember being fascinated by how the colors looked brighter after class, the depth of my breath after practicing, and how sweet the ocean breeze felt on my skin.

    Yoga showed up in my life when there was no home.

    No family.

    No stability.

    No focus.

    And in a way, no attachments.

    I was rebuilding my life in a different country. I was alone, and yoga became my companion on this journey. It was the only place where I felt loved, welcomed, and whole.

    I remember the joy of finding an activity that was pure goodness and how positively that affected my life. I didn’t know that yoga would lovingly mold the adult I am today.

    Looking back at my practice, I no longer need a yoga mat to know that yoga is there for me and within me.

    Yoga happens in the awareness of a deep breath amidst work calls.

    Yoga happens in the silence that calms a reactive mind.

    Yoga happens in the compassion and care I extend to others whenever possible.

    I continue to practice postures. But the postures are just a tiny part of an immense world of wisdom. As I flow through movement, I also enjoy the quiet moments of stillness.

    Looking back at my practice, I was given a gift without even knowing it. These days I am more conscious that my practice is here to stay. My practice will always continue to change and evolve. My practice will always surprise me. And my practice will always be my refuge.

    By Adrian Molina


    Adrian Molina is the founder of Warrior Flow. With over 15,000 hours of classroom teaching experience, Adrian is renowned for the sophistication and depth of his teaching style and the degree of mindfulness, compassion and precision he brings to asana practice. He is also a writer, massage therapist, Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner, Reiki master, and a Kriya Yoga meditation practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda.

    Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

  • The Gift Yoga Brought Me

    I discovered yoga around the age of 19 and felt somehow that my difference was not important when practicing yoga. We were all different somehow but shared the commonality of practicing yoga.

    For many of us growing up was an interesting process.

    We may have been different in some way from the majority of others and started to realise these differences in childhood, in our teenage years or later.

    For me I knew I was gay from a young age, but also knew this was not accepted openly while growing up–by my peers, my teachers, my family. This meant I had to develop skills to keep part of myself sublimated, hidden from others, so my sense of identity became fragmented.

    I discovered yoga around the age of 19 and felt somehow that my difference was not important when practicing yoga. We were all different somehow but shared the commonality of practicing yoga.

    I think I was lucky and found some very open, compassionate, and aware teachers.

    And the magical gift that I discovered was savasana.

    Lying on the floor in the stillness and quiet after doing all these weird postures with belts and chairs and straps on the wall (it was Iyengar!), noticing the quality of the light, the air of my skin, being aware of lying in the room with everyone else but at the same time coming into my own space, and being happy and content just to lie there for a few moments, with myself, at one with myself. I felt integrated, whole, and self-accepted.

    And all of this from within myself.

    Yoga allowed me to find a sense of personal integration and a renewed sense of identity connected deeply within myself. We could argue that the sense of self I felt had a more cosmic meaning, but it didn’t matter because I felt it anyway.

    To say yoga saved my life is cliche, a hackneyed phrase. But if you know, you know.

    This blog was originally a post of Ashley’s Instagram.

    By Ashley Russell

    Ashley Russell is a Senior Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance Professionals and an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) Therapist living in Bristol, UK. He teaches for the Bristol School of Yoga on their 200 and 500 hour programs. With a background of over 25 years of both teaching yoga and working in the mental health field he brings a broad range of skills to the transformative power that yoga can provide. He lives in Bristol, UK with his husband choreographer Adam Hougland.

    Follow Ashely’s Instagram account.

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