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First things first, I am not a religious person.
I was not born in a religious family; in fact, my parents are generally atheist. The concept of a higher force was pretty much vague and at times even illusory to me — hard not to think so when religion has been meddling so much with politics and power since its start till this day.
However, a near-death experience changed everything. I could have easily died, and even though some said it was my willpower that saved me, I just cannot fathom how I could make those decisions under those circumstances and had so much luck consecutively if not for a higher being who decided that it was not my time to die.
So at several points in my life after that event, I tried to find God (yes, God with capital G), but honestly, I never felt any true connection in any religious settings or their rituals. The closer I want to reach out to a religion, the more I am put off by the dogma and the one dimensional “religious” people who are either too scared to question anything or too in need of that “religious” image to serve their own purpose.
To sum it up, I am an omnist who believes in the existence of God and the fundamentals of the religions, but it is the specific teachings of the respective religions that I cannot bring myself to relate and agree to.
But something interesting happened when I embarked on my fitness journey.
During one of a particularly tiring yoga session, I felt a foreign flow of energy coming over me during the Shavasana, which is basically the last position at the end of all yoga classes where one just lies down in a relaxed manner with guided breathing to recover the body and mind. Usually I either just relax there, or if the Shavasana is too long, I would drift into a light sleep. But I don’t know, something was very different that day. Maybe it was just too tiring for my mind and body, so much so that they completely let go and went into a state of heightened suggestibility.
I was overwhelmed. I felt so much emotions stirring up in me and almost wanted to burst out in tears for reasons that I was not even aware of. I sound crazy, but I suppose the closest I can say is that I was just freaking happy and grateful for being there alive and watched over by God at that moment.
I would say that was my first conscious spiritual connection. Right there on the mat in Shavasana after a crazy yoga session.
It was almost 7 years later when I had another similar experience during my workout session.
It was a spin class at a very hip gym studio. The room was dark and neon lights were flashing in the rhythm of the music. The instructor was giving no mercy and kept pushing everyone to go faster, harder, faster, harder. Near the final push, he turned up the music and asked us to lower our heads and just closed our eyes pushing through for that last one minute.
I did as told and boom, suddenly I couldn’t hear anything but yet at the same time, I felt like I could hear everything that was going through my mind. It was like I was suddenly withdrawn from my surrounding, and became extremely present in my consciousness.
This time, I was not overwhelmed.
Many may say this is just an illusion created by the tired mind, but to me it was a spiritual moment and spirituality should always be personal.