What is yoga to me?
Yoga is in the moments- both on and off the mat- that I feel peace, evenness of mind… less mind. Less of the mind chatter and more of something deeper, more authentic, more real. Yoga is becoming the witness of the self.
Today, I had a moment on the mat that was simple and profound at the same time. I realized that after ten years of practice, the yoga is only beginning to work on me. It was somewhere in trying to get my thighs over my shoulders so I could raise up onto only my hands, wrapping myself into a pretzel and then hopping around with my knees next to my ears; I asked myself:
Why move the body through this system of exercise? I reviewed my answers. To quiet the mind. To focus the breath. To delve into the interior landscape, and explore the boundaries within. (To get a smokin hot bod). Whatever, ok, that too.
So much time and energy is spent exploring the world, sending all the focus outward and passionately pursuing, consuming, and expanding our sensory experiences. Through the practice of yoga, I am able to focus inward, into the sound of my breath, the sensations in my internal universe. Turning within, I find levels of increasing depth as I begin to simply observe, free from attachments and judgements.
The practice of asana, yogic exercise, allows us to explore the body from the inside- letting go of what a pose looks like, and discovering how it feels in our body. And your body is different from my body. You are discovering the unique, incredible workings of the one and only YOU.
Asana. What do these exercises have to do with searching the self? The process of uniting body and breath, diligently exploring the possibilities of human form in movement. Postures which seem unattainable become, with practice, available to you. Flexibility, strength, and general well being are cultivated. Yoga poses bring health to the joints, the organs, and most importantly, the mind. And in time, they bring a profound curiosity about what else might be possible that we previously only imagined? Might there be more within than we ever realized? We find layers of ourselves to shed, attachments to release, and emerge from the dive within to find ourselves lighter, more loving, more free.
What is yoga to me?
Yoga is striving towards that freedom. Moksha. Liberation. Liberation from the bondage of duality- from the illusion that we are separate from the divine. In all of us are the divine fluid sparks that make up everything in the understandable universe. I am divine. You are divine.
Maybe you don’t buy into all that. No worries. Yoga will still give you a smokin’ bod either way. See you on the mat.Tags: acro yoga, asana, hatha yoga, healthy living, journal, paddle yoga, self discovery, SUP yoga, vinyasa yoga, wellness, why do yoga, yoga, yoga lifestyle