One Hundred Days of Yoga

What Yoga taught this student about stillness of mind, self-compassion and strength.

Sneha Christall
5 min readMar 15


“The Way is not in the sky, the Way is in the heart”

Etymologically, the word ‘Yoga’ stems from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, meaning to bind, join or focus one’s attention on something. It also represents a greater union — that of the soul with the Divine.

In this blog, I wish to share my experience of practicing Yoga for over the past 100 days. I took to Yoga as a form of exercise, both physical and mental. Though I began practicing it without much expectations, I was in for an awakening…

A typical Yoga session involves asanas (different body postures) to train one’s body, pranayama (prana: breathing, ayama: expansion) to train one’s breath or life force, and meditation to access one’s higher self. In its truest sense, Yoga helps you discipline your intellect, emotions and ego (ahankara), so you are no longer burdened by their weight and can regard the world with perfect balance. Here are some lessons I have imbibed from my Yoga practice —

Self-compassion: The art of letting go of the outcome and delighting in the process

In B. K. S. Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga, he describes Yoga as deliverance from the pain and sorrow our hubris causes us —

‘A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi [finds fulfilment].’

While the Western concept of ‘hustle culture’ has many of us fixated on performance, growth and delivering results, the still, silent art of Yoga calls us to surrender such desires and remain equally poised in the face of success and failure. It calls us to be compassionate with ourselves, no matter what external metrics of success may indicate.

‘Work for work’s sake, not for yourself. Act, but do not be attached to your actions. Be in the world, but not of it.’

Bhagavad Gita

The body keeps the score

Ever since we were born, our body has served us in silence, building resilience and assurance to protect us from harm and prevent diseases.

Our body is our first home, where many of our fundamental attitudes manifest.

And yet, we have such a complicated relationship with our bodies — years of neglect, wrong nourishment, thoughts filled with shame and guilt until… the day our body rejects our ways and it shows up in the form of a skewed blood report or physical symptoms that can no longer be ignored.

A simple practice I learned in Yoga is to wind down each session by mindfully allowing our consciousness to scan each part of our body — to really feel it and be grateful for it. This is a great way to remind ourselves that our most basic nature is to love. And to begin, we must regard our bodies with greater love and respect.

Show up everyday. Harness pain to grow stronger, yet know how to love gently, so you give yourself rest when you need it.

Balance is all

There are many asanas such as the Tree, Eagle and Warrior poses that help in improving our balance and posture. In several other asanas, we learn control — how much to stretch or swing each limb, and the benefits of incrementally stretching our body’s limits under due guidance.

Yoga grants us the gifts of harmony and moderation. Over time, our energy directs us to sleep well, crave less, balance work and rest, and remain unbothered by simple, everyday stresses.

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears. When the student is truly ready, the teacher disappears…”

I believe any exercise in self-work or self-mastery is benefitted when the student trusts the process and the teacher. There cannot be any half-heartedness in it. And this has been my experience with Yoga as well.

Yoga provides us the opportunity to willingly surrender our body and mind to the teacher’s instruction. We know so little about the way our body works, why not let the teacher show us the way?

Not every asana needs to be explained and theorized, some of them are best experienced as they are, no explanations at all. What’s even more fascinating is how each class may include students with different needs and capacities, but the right teacher knows how to address each of them, meet them where they are, walk with them as they learn about their own inner strength, patience and discipline — and lead them on paths perhaps even the teacher is yet to experience…

Grace: To accept the gifts from above, whatever form they may take

Have you noticed how some things come easily to you, without any effort and some things remain beyond reach, no matter how hard you may try? Yoga is a little like that; as you practice, you discover your body and mind’s inherent strengths which you can master more easily, and those areas that remain out of your reach, even if you put in the effort.

Either ways, it’s a brilliant exercise in making a clown of yourself in class. One moment, you are enjoying all the attention because of your Sirsasana (or ‘standing on your head abilities’), and the next you lose balance and you’re on the floor with your head stuck between your legs (I may be exaggerating just a little).

Calmness: Your Most Discreet Strength

With pranayama, Yoga assists us in repeated, deep abdominal breathing. Many of us have been breathing wrong for too long. One example is chest breathing, where we may draw in just enough air to fill our upper chest and not all the way through.

With deep abdominal breathing, as is practiced in Yoga, we inhale deeply to fill up our entire lungs, making the diaphragm contract and move downward. A simple way to ensure you are breathing right is to keep your hand on your stomach and inhale deeply and slowly. When inhaling, your stomach should expand or rise. And when you exhale deeply and slowly, your stomach should contract, as all air leaves your body.

When we breathe slowly, paying attention to the source, location and timing of our breath, we send a signal to the hypothalamus (which controls our endocrine and central nervous systems) to maintain a stable environment or homoeostasis. This helps slow down our impulses and soothe our system.

With commitment and consistency, Yoga can calm the restless mind, help us identify our purpose and direct our energy in the right channels.

The Aftereffects

Practicing Chakrasan (Still needs improvement, but this wasn’t me on Day 0)

For the most part, I have shared the spiritual and mental benefits of Yoga, perhaps because they have been the most valuable to me. But let’s not forget all of its welcome aftereffects — weight loss, better skin and hair health, better sleep and digestion, lesser cravings, a more toned physique and of course, cool asanas to try out the next time you are at the beach😉

So, have I convinced you to sign up for a Yoga class this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me at



Sneha Christall

Wanderer, writer, memory collector.