Yoga Changed My Life

Swami Yoga Gnana Saraswati, Bulgaria

Yoga changed my life, but firstly yoga changed me. This happened slowly and unnoticeably. The people in my family used to call me mimosa — a plant which when even tenderly touched closes its leaves. I was the same — the smallest quarrel made me suffer and close in myself. Looking at somebody crying made me cry also. I was too sensitive and it was very difficult to live in this world, full of pain and suffering.

I was a teenager when I started to question why there was so much injustice, war, sickness, agony and death. I was told that God wants it to be like this, but this answer did not satisfy me. I found books about yoga philosophy, about the law of karma, reincarnation and so on, and I felt that this is true.

The right path

When I found Satyananda Yoga I understood that my search was over and I had found the right path for me. The rest was to follow this path and not to stop the efforts.

The first visit to an ashram was in 1988 to the Satyanandashram Greece. I felt that this world of yoga is mine also. Seeing the people with geru robes clicked something in me and I knew that I wanted to become like these people and to belong to this tradition. I was initiated into mantra and received a spiritual name. My real journey in yoga began . . .

The first effect of yoga was on my mind. I became more calm and happy, because I understood that there is no chaos in the universe, but just cosmic laws.

The second thing was that my health improved. I stopped being sick so often. With regular surya namaskara and pranayama my body became more stable.

The third effect was enhancing my energy level. Besides the hatha yoga, I think that my initiations into karma sannyasa and later into poorna sannyasa played a very important role.

Another change happened in the attitude to my work. After accepting the karma yoga principles, I stopped being frustrated and blaming myself and others if something was not perfect. This helped me so much that I would like to give thanks again and again for this precious gift, which karma yoga gave me.

I was afraid to be open and to be hurt, but slowly yoga practices for managing the emotions helped me to accept myself and others as they were. Maybe my heart started to become cleaner and to open little by little . . .

I started to see the small miracles, which happen so often, but before I was blind to see them. After all, everything is a miracle of the Divine power!

I felt inspired and started to share with other people the yoga knowledge which I had received. I became a yoga teacher. This act of sharing gave me even more fulfilment and a new meaning to my life. I felt content with serving others through yoga and other possible ways. This added joy and richness to my experiences and feelings. Now I may say that I changed very much and my life also is very different from what it was.

I have attended several courses in the ashrams of our tradition. The most powerful impact on me was the Sannyasa Training Course in Munger for 6 months in 1992—1993. I experienced the sannyasa type of life and was inspired to live it in my life. Living in the ashram was not easy, but very useful to understand myself, my character and my reactions. It was a great experience.

I have been many times to India and there I met the great yogi Paramahamsa Satyananda and received his darshan. The meetings with him were for me unique and uplifting. I saw him and Swami Niranjan as two people having the same spirit and soul. How can I remain the same after such meetings! I felt happy, my soul was singing with joy!

I would like to thank all yoga teachers and acharyas who taught me yoga and its principles. Especially I would like to thank my Guru, Swami Niranjanananda, who guides me year after year and maybe life after life. I receive from him knowledge, support, energy, example and lessons which I cherish deeply in myself as the most precious gifts I have ever received. When he initiated me into poorna sannyasa, I felt really born again! From sadness to joy, from darkness to light - this is my journey. I feel the divine presence of Guru in my life. For me he represents goodness, strength, wisdom and truthfulness.

I thank Guruji, for allowing me to become his disciple and sannyasin and change my life for good.