Yoga Philosophy and Elephants 

Take care of yourself, to be able to care for others

During my stay in Thailand, where I studied Thai massage, I worked in an elephant sanctuary. This journey was not related to yoga, it brought me the other side of my expertise, the one in massage. Though it did teach me some basic life principles and it is a reason why I always say I am inspired by global wildlife. I especially fell in love with one of the elephants there who was acting as a mother of the group. She would look after new elephants brought into the sanctuary and made sure they become part of the group. I learned that elephants are extremely social beings and I realised how much I could learn from them.

Now, back to yoga… Every teacher will tell you that yoga is not just a practice of funny or complicated postures, it is a philosophy for life. This philosophy is based on ancient Sanskrit writings and can be quite complex from our 21st-century Western perspective. But I believe that everything can, and should, be broken down for everyone to understand. What lies in the core of this complex learning is balancing different aspects of life, starting from caring for yourself. Yoga provides the element of self-care that we so often neglect in our modern lives filled with overworking, an abundance of information, different screens that often substitute socialisation. Through yoga, we learn again how to start from ourselves, caring for our bodies and minds. To be kinder towards others, and to be able to care for others.

I often think about how elephants taught me to never forget that we are social beings. No matter what I am helping people with and no matter if I am using yoga, Pilates, massage or any other technique in my holistic approach in achieving that. Wildlife can teach us so many things, and it inspired me to never forget the importance of humans’ openness to the world, to others. We need other people to survive, just as we sometimes need to go back to nature that reminds us to care for ourselves to be able to care for others.