We all find our own way to yoga and we each have our own motivations that keep us coming back for more. We come to build strength of body and mind, we come to relax, we come because our friends and loved ones practise. No matter what our motivation is, yoga welcomes us all with open arms!
Yoga cares only that we practise with diligence, that we surrender to what our practice brings and that we use a little intelligence.
First and foremost this means that yoga cares that we let go of our motivations when we roll out our mats. Simply because yoga necessitates working and playing with where we are here and now. Holding on to our motivations is going to mess with our focus on the practice. It is going to mess with our surrender to whatever the practice brings. It is going to mess with our ability to see what is. But of course yoga also cares that we practise regularly! Because it is through regular practise that yoga reveals its power and beauty to us…
Yoga Wakes Us Up
The power and beauty of yoga lie in two things we all have in common…
The first thing is Yoga Works!
It works whether we frame our yoga as a practice for mitigating the effects of stress, as a practice for growing mindfulness, as a practice for building strength or in any other way. That is our motivation for returning to practise again and again. When we let go of our motivation when we practise - or in the words of the yogis of old “we let go of our attachment to the fruits of our actions” - then we will bear fruit! Fruit both in terms of our motivations and the fruit yoga throws up along the way. This brings us on to…
The second thing - Yoga Wakes Us Up!
Simply because through practise our perspective on ourselves and the world around us starts to shift a little. Yoga brings things out of the shadows and into the light. Things like patterns we have become entangled in and the beliefs about ourselves that lie behind these patterns. By bringing these into the light they loose their grip on us. So it is a waking up that moves us towards wholeness, towards balance. We move towards our natural state, our source of inner peace and joy and our source of deeper purpose and original power.
Yoga empowers us in a way that is both very simple and very deep, in a way that manifests both inside and out…
Because it loosens us from patterns and the patterns we tend to become entangled in are the ones that “re-enforce” a sense of separation inside. Separation that, when we “look” a little closer, is not there. Or in other words: the separation we experience is an illusion - and holding up an illusion takes effort! It locks up our energy. So as our yoga loosens us from pattern we free up energy, we free up power.
As we grow our wholeness inside, we become more grounded in our inner source of peace, joy and purpose. A grounding that we realise as truth in our own being. Then from that grounding - that sense of connection - we participate in life more fully. We grow our ability to engage in the magic of each moment as it comes. We grow our ability to apply our power in a way that is aligned with who we are.
Explore this in class
For a more detailed discussion of these concepts (and a very simple framework for looking at yoga philosophy) take a look at my class: Yoga in a Nutshell