Bhavana Jasti began practicing at Maya Yoga in January of 2014.  Merely one semester into medical school, it quickly became apparent that she would need an outlet to relieve stress. Three years later, Bhavana now talks to her patients about how yoga can bring a positive change to their lives!  “Anytime a patient cues to the notion that anxiety plays a significant role in their life,” she says, “I’m quick to encourage them to begin a practice of meditation or yoga. The two philosophies [meditation and yoga] go hand in hand, each providing insight that bridges to the other.”

Similar to most new students, Bhavana first focused on perfecting the details of the poses instead of experiencing the energetic connection to the present moment. Over time, however, she became more and more self-aware. “Perhaps, this slow and steady transition is what I find most appealing about the practice: the promise of the regimen to be a learning experience with no goal of perfection, only enhanced self-awareness.”

“I’d always heard that yoga was a journey from the outside in, based initially in cultivating an understanding of one’s body to then facilitate the more valuable intrinsic journey of mind and soul,” Bhavana explains. So she kept practicing.  After her third year of consistent practice, she, “became very conscious of the intricacies of my thoughts and how these thoughts would affect my body, not only during the yoga practice but throughout the day– it was a basal thought process that was self-observing, instead of self-analyzing.”

bhavana-2This self-awareness gained through her consistent Ashtanga practice influenced the way Bhavana approached her medical studies.  Her yoga helped her focus and steady the emotional upheavals of being a full-time medical student  “The biggest difficulty I faced when I started medical school was time management. I could sit down and study for hours but oftentimes, I lacked the efficiency to finish the necessary study material. The self-awareness I was experienced [from yoga] allowed me to become conscious of ways I was losing time and as I result I’ve become a more efficient learner.”

Bhavana’s yoga practice even seemed to slow time. “Oftentimes I feel that my school schedule doesn’t allow me to make time for yoga. But the days I do go to yoga are the days I seem to have the most time.”