My name is Sarfraz Islam. I have lived in Port Charlotte for the last 30 years and recently moved to Punta Gorda. I am a physician who has practiced for 30 years, until March 2014 when I retired.

I have always been inspired by the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga but could not spare the time to practice due to my busy career and life until a year ago.

I was introduced to yoga about 6 years ago by a dear friend after a stressful incident in my life. Although yoga had a positive effect on my life, I did not keep up with it.

In April of 2014, I joined The Yoga Sanctuary in Punta Gorda and started practicing 3 to 4 times a week. Now I feel physically and mentally rejuvenated. The aches and pain I felt for many years are much less intense. The stamina to walk has improved. In stressful situations, meditation and restorative yoga brings me back to a state of peaceful mind and body.

I continue to practice yoga 3 – 4 times a week. I attend gentle, level one and mixed level yoga classes. My favorite pose is the tree pose; it focuses on balance, concentration and meditative thoughts.

Yoga has changed my life in many ways. Not only am I able to create more peace and tranquility around me, I can also successfully relieve tension in my muscles. All in all, it makes me a more balanced human being.

I feel I still need to learn a lot more. I know that I can’t learn each and every yoga pose, so I keep coming to learn as many as I can. Despite all the above mentioned benefits, I still feel there is a lot to gain in it for me—physically and spiritually.

My favorite quote is:

“Do not dwell in the past,

do not dream of the future,

concentrate the mind

on the present moment.”

– Buddha