February 18, 2014

Yoga: Why do so Many Embrace it?

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Yoga does not ask us to judge.

The more passionate yoga die-hards see the practice of yoga in the West as, well, lacking. Yoga for those who study it understand asana is only one aspect of the whole.

But honestly, if someone only likes asana, it’s okay. And if they think yoga is only exercise, it’s okay.

Because even in asana classes we have final relaxation, savasana—and that is why people, in my humble opinion, love yoga.

They love it because they finally relax.

We live in a multi-tasking goal oriented highly driven world. Money matters. What we do for a living matters. Where our children go to school matters. What we can show for what we’ve done, matters.

But does it? Doesn’t how we feel matter more? And don’t we in most yoga classes take that moment to honor intention, or the centering before we begin our asana practice take a moment of silence to breathe with awareness, don’t we at least slow down?

I think in most yoga classes we do slow down. In most asana classes, we are invited to make the mind-body connection. In most, we take time on our back to let the body assimilate the asana we did and allow the calm that enters to bring itself into our whole presence.

So if most students don’t know the difference between between classical yoga and tantra that’s okay. I have been studying yoga for quite a while and know enough to know I don’t know much.

If most students don’t know Patanjali or the Sutras my guess is they embrace kindness as well as the next person and isn’t kindness Ahimsa really?

If my students don’t know about Bhakti or Kirtan, or Jnana yoga, it’s okay.

On occasion certain students will ask to know more and I can offer.

Me? I love to teach. I love yoga. Sometimes my asana practice thrives others it does not.

But yoga to me is more than asana. Yoga is how I live my life. Yoga is how I engage, on the mat and off the mat.

Let’s leave judgment on the doorstep and keep the doors to the possible open. After all, it’s really no one else’s business why someone chooses to do yoga.

I know when I was new I kept going back because it made me feel good.

Yoga brought me peace.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Om.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives


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