Monika Ochudło - yoga instructor, working, among others, in an osteopathy clinic, author of the blog jogadlaciebiei. Yoga appeared in her life when her brother delayed his application to a university, which completely changed her life choice. When she faced the threat of losing her life, she realized I didn't want to rush anymore, stopped, found what filled the void. Through the practice of yoga, she found her true nature, reached under the shell of human existence. Now she helps others find balance, health, happiness and peace.
In what areas of your life does yoga appear?
I am a yoga instructor, I also work in an osteopathy clinic in Katowice. I run yoga classes there tailored to the limitations of my patients, they come to me as part of improving my body.
Yoga is a good way to support treatment, return to fitness?
In the clinic where we work, we operate interdisciplinary, the diagnosis is followed by treatment of patients. Many specialists from various fields are involved in this process. When patients come to me, I am able to adapt yoga exercises to their dysfunctions. I teach them how to help themselves. People with various dysfunctions and at different levels of physical fitness come to the clinic where I work. I try to teach my patients physical re-education. I am convinced that yoga is an irreplaceable form of supporting the recovery process.
Is there a place in your life for other activities besides yoga?
I work in several other areas, besides working in an osteopathy clinic, I also work as a clinical research coordinator, which is my main profession.
How has yoga come your way?
After graduating from high school, I left for work in England. I also wanted to become a psychologist, but my brother did not apply for university in a timely manner and it turned out that I could only go to extramural studies, which I wanted to avoid. In such a situation, I made a decision that I would submit my papers to the University of Physical Education in the field of Management in Tourism, Gastronomy and Hotel Management. When I was admitted to the university, I was obliged to choose a sports subject, I chose yoga.
What was your relationship with yoga in the beginning?
At the beginning, I practiced twice a week for two hours. Then I noticed that despite what a sporty lifestyle seemed to me, my body was very stiff. A bend with straight back to the floor was practically impossible in my case. Then a thought popped into my head that there must be something wrong with me, that my mental tension is transferred to my body, which causes a small range of movements.
I started going to the meetings of the Yoga Academic Association in Katowice, led by prof. Janusz Szopa. It is a figure that has been promoting this form of physical activity in Poland for many years. He may say that he was a precursor who introduced yoga to universities. He regularly travels to India, from there he draws his experience and knowledge. His story is interesting because he began practicing yoga at the age of forty, and he is a professor of mathematics by education. At this stage of my adventure with yoga, I already knew that it was definitely something for me.
In the beginning, the practice involved bodily changes for you?
The beginnings of yoga practice for me were closely related to the body, especially since I was just starting my studies at the most "body" academy in Poland. I practiced to have a greater range of motion, but quickly changes to my body began to emerge. Musculature enhanced, silhouette became slender. My endurance increased significantly, I was able to stand on my head and on my hands. The longer I practiced, the more things started to change, I saw much more than what was given to me at the Academy of Physical Education. At the University of Physical Education, we focused on the body, on how the performance of the body and physical fitness can be measured in the parameters. However, this is a college and university, and nothing that is not scientifically proven can be passed on to students, I have found spiritual issues elsewhere.
Changes in the body also entail changes in the functioning of the body, we feel better, we are healthier, our heart works better, we have stronger bones. Not all parameters related to the practice of yoga can be tested, the changes that occur in the mind or mind cannot be put on paper. Our tension in the psyche translates into tension in the body. The slack in the body appears first in the head.
Have you met people on your way who opened another door to self-awareness?
All the time I meet someone who shows me that yoga is not only a fit body, but also self-respect, respect for the world around us, principles of not hurting yourself and others. Along the way, I discovered various courses, trainings, I got to know the mechanisms of the human mind. On the path of research, I understood that yoga is not about rivalry, competition. It is important to feel good with yourself every day, to be fit and healthy. There is no need to outdo yourself in complicated positions, the point here is to find yourself at some point in your life.
Find yourself and your place in the world?
We are part of nature, this is extremely important, in nature, in slow mode, a lot more positive things happen in our head than when we are constantly chasing something. We often try to catch up with some imaginary expectations of our ego.
In the practice of yoga, it is also important to give up our ego, everything we do and do here and now, for ourselves, not to compete with others. If we want to compete, let's compete with ourselves yesterday. When we get to the bottom of it, it's easier to understand that the point is to make us feel good in our own body, to open our eyes, to perceive little pleasures.
How has the yoga path changed your life?
Most of all, I slowed down. I also had an unpleasant situation along the way, I ran a bar the whole time of my studies, I gave up on it before writing my master's thesis. Just before defending the job, I had health complications - a cyst on my ovary ruptured. As I had never felt then, that I would not get anywhere in my haste. After this event, many of my reflections on life changed, I knew that I had to slow down, do what I like.
Are you a different person?
I'm less nervous, it used to be different. The accident in which I could lose my life, losing about 35% of my blood, which happened the day before the defense of my master's thesis, directed my life on a different track. A month after the operation, I enrolled in a yoga instructor course. I did it for myself to know how to practice in accordance with all the rules, because that was also what I was then - extremely fundamental. I was also very concerned about the assessments of others, but with the measures of practice I gained slack in my head and body, I changed my views and lifestyle. I let go and saw a sense of ease in myself.
Now you are helping others for whom yoga has become a form of recovery for various reasons?
I try to help others, I have also been running a blog jogadlaciebie for six years, I am an instructor on yoga trips for women. As many people as possible, I try to convince me that a change in lifestyle and attitude towards myself causes a flourishing in life.
What style of yoga do you practice?
I practice hathayoga, but in my individual practice I smuggle the fluidity of the vinyasayoga movement.
What is your dream related to spiritual development, the path of yoga?
I would like to do a yoga instructor course in India or Bali, but I also think that this is not a determinant of whether someone is a better or worse instructor. This experience could be a great inspiration for me.
Practicing yoga is a good life idea for you because?
First of all, practicing yoga will bring a change in mood, help to take care of our inner needs, teach us to listen to our intuition - our deep source of knowledge. Nowadays, we follow the crowd, we have little time to think about what we want, what we need. Only working on yourself allows you to look more broadly at the value of your existence.
As you teach yoga, do you experience the gratitude of those you help?
Yes, there are many stories imprinted in my memory, I will mention one of them. Six years ago I started practicing with an elderly lady, she once told me that I had restored her joy to life. She opened up to me, she felt lonely, but thanks to our practice, she realized that she could be happy with herself, not only because of the other person.
Happiness is in all of us?
That's right, we have to find happiness in ourselves, going to the other end of the world will not change anything in our lives, if we do not discover joy in ourselves. Changing the environment will not bring about changes, it may sound trivial, but it is.
The world maintains the illusions of thinking that we must be someone else?
We are driven by the media, the Internet, and patterns around us. We feel that we are insufficient. Through the practice of yoga, meditation, we discover that we are sufficient and that we can adjust the world to what we want, not the other way around. We become calmer by turning off those external signals that harm us.
Yoga practice requires nothing, and any moment is right to introduce it into our lives?
"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." A lot of people ask me how to get started, what they need to get started. In fact, we just need ourselves to get started. When we stand on a carpet or mat, we are able to silence external stimuli for a few moments and focus on breathing. The essence of yoga is breath-prana, or life energy, then we are here and now, it is a form of meditation in motion. Every moment of our life is just the right one to start.