For many people ‘yoga’ is thought of as a class you do that lasts about an hour, in which you perform postures (asanas). It is supposed to make you feel relaxed, happier, stronger, healthier and more flexible.
And yes that is part of it, but yoga is also so much more than just that…
Yoga is not about already having a capable and flexible body to do complicated postures. This belief keeps many people from trying yoga, which is a shame because yoga is for everyone.
So what is yoga for me?
- It is about being aware of whatever I do, including a yoga posture.
- It is about connecting with my breath.
- It is about accepting feelings, thoughts, emotions, fears, judgments and pain. Not from my mind, but from my being.
- It is about working with my longing to know reality, my longing to be home, right where I am.
- It is about listening to my body when it talks to me through tension or fatigue and giving the body what it needs when it does.
- It is the practice of quieting the mind.
- It is about enjoying strength and flexibility, physically, emotionally and mentally.
- It is about connecting to the source of the body – the here and now – so the body can stay strong, energetic and healthy.
- It is being present when there is pain, allowing it fully without running away, understanding that pain is as much a part of life as happiness.
- It is about being present with happiness, without the fear of losing it; fully embracing it, knowing that that too shall pass.
- It is bringing together body, mind and breath.
- It is connection with myself, life and the present.
- It is about seeing the miracle that life is, and that life is much more than just the story of “me and my life”.
- It is about seeing/realizing that we are all made of the same substance, so I can see myself in everyone and everything.
- It is about seeing that everything changes, understanding the impermanence of life and knowing I am not that what changes. I am that what observes the changes.
- It is ultimately about seeing myself in everything, without holding on to a separate identity.
I’d love to know your thoughts: what is yoga for you?
Practice beyond the asanas
For our members. If you feel inspired to explore yoga on a deeper level then why not try my program: Freedom Series. This program of 9 classes is built up around spiritual concepts in yoga, combining it with our physical practice. Explore key philosophical teachings in yoga with a great physical challenge.