Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Yoga is a growing phenomenon throughout the world. So much so that it has become a glamorous hobby to practice unto others. In America it has been so influential! What’s there not to love about yoga? But as you may suspect, the west has cultivated it in a different way where it makes it seem like all it is is getting on your mat to do some stretches.
Don’t get me wrong, asana- physical yoga poses are a big portion of what yoga is. But the real yoga is what is going on inside of you. It’s the way you go about your every day to day interactions with others and interaction with Self. It’s really about how you relate and breathe into your spirit. How are you connecting? Not just with yourself but with others as we are all mirrors of each other. How are you connecting with the health of your body and your mind? Are you integrating all of these into each other on a constant basis? Are you honoring your soul and your unique journey? Are you being balanced and not too selfish and selfless enough?
My favorite yoga classes are not necessarily the ones I will get the most intense workout in.. for me, I love the teachers that can tap into, as Bob Marley calls it, "the natural mystic going on in the midst of class". The teacher is directing, the students are moving their bodies in the yoga asana poses and the breath work is happening. But all in the midst of this, they are giving you wisdom nuggets that not only makes you think deeply but it truly resonates with your soul. I remember one yoga teacher guiding a class that stated, “this that you’re doing is only one aspect of yoga, the real yoga happens when you leave here and you are stuck in traffic, getting bombarded with a heavy workload, experiencing someone being rude to you- how do you act when that happens? Are you still breathing, being with yourself in the full totality of who you are?”
To me, this type of yoga, more similar to Pantajali’s sutras for yoga which is an ancient text breaking down what the real yoga is all about following. His purpose for creating this in the 18th century was to teach a path for enlightenment. This is what yoga is really about. It is literally a modality to take you to a path of enlightenment within yourself. Try taking up yoga for a bit, set your intentions and connect within your soul, body, mind and breath. I personally loved the beginning of my classes, I would set a powerful intention to something I wanted in my life. It is important to create powerful goals. Let’s say I wanted to be more assertive and learn to stand my ground more, this would be the intention I would set at the beginning of every yoga class (or just one,) and I would dedicate my whole practice to that. I would mentally state my affirmation. I would breathe into my intention, move to my intention, stand in grounding poses with the knowing that my intention is or will come into full fruition for me. I would notice myself becoming more grounded in my true self and find myself in alignment with my desires.
See how you can evolve and begin to connect with your higher Self on a regular basis along with your own personal bliss that you can connect with anytime you want!
Remember, yoga is about connecting beyond just a physical aspect, think and be aware of how you're feeling within. Mentally are you happy, are you being fulfilled in every aspect you seek? Practice yoga for pain out and in, to reduce stress, to tackle your anxiety and depression, for flexibility or your heart health! You are the only you existing, embrace your flow!