Yesterday I watched the documentary “Enlighten Up!” and it really made me think about what yoga is. This question was asked repeatedly and everyone’s answer was so different. I found it amazing to really stop and think about all the contradictions among the well known yoga instructors and the variety of reasons these people do yoga and it made me question what yoga is to me.
Yoga is about developing the mind and the body. When I go to class I forget about the outside world and am fully focused on the present. There are no expectations, no competition, and it is a time when my strengths shine, my flaws make me laugh and I strive to continually improve. These feelings transfer off of the mat and into my life. When I am in class I am focused purely on the postures and how my body feels in each position. When I come out of class I feel calm, focused and prepared for what the world may throw at me. There have been a few times where I have been extremely upset before coming into class and although those feelings may not be gone after class, I have taken ninety minutes to focus on myself and forget the problem and I gain a new perspective when I venture back out of class and into the world. So, what is yoga to me? Yoga is a series of physical postures that will help cleanse, strengthen and open the body that in turn helps cleanse, strengthen and open the mind. Yoga has become much more to me since I first started the physical practice and is now more about the ethical practice. Mastering the yamas are much more difficult than mastering the asanas!
What is yoga to you?