What is Yoga?
Yoga is Union with the Divine.
Yoga is the philosophy of connection.
We are all connected.
That means our bodies, minds & spirits are One Thing.
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.
That means All That IS, All who LIVE are One Thing.
Yoga is the Infusion of Breath into Body.
Yoga is a spiritual practice and a life improvement practice.
Yoga Practice cleans up your life.
Yoga is a creator of more time and energy.
Yoga is Healing.
Yoga is Awakening Awareness.
Yoga expands empathy & the capacity for compassion.
Yoga Is Prayer and Self Care.
When I sat to write this post, I kept trying to think of the best way to share my personal Yoga Journey in a chronological way. That is a challenge, because it’s been part of my life to varying degrees for nearly 30 years…and there’s too much too sum up in one blog post, so I’ll start here, I’ll start simply and weave more in future posts.
I’ve been a Registered Yoga & Meditation Instructor for 10 years. My training is in Vinyasa, and my style of teaching is probably best described as Gentle Vinyasa.
My meditation style is simple: Deep breaths, visualization, conscious self-acceptance, self-appreciation and self-love.
When I began my teacher training, I had an just an inkling of how powerful the immersion into this practice and it’s vast teaching would be for my whole self.
The calming and clearing of my mind. The elevation of my spirit. The strengthening of my body.
Admittedly, I had high hopes for a more “perfect” and “sculpted” physique, like many of the ones I saw at the studio every day.
Well, that’s not exactly what I got, but as it turns out, that goal was burned up by the development of Tapas (Burning ZEAL for the practice) and I began to see the perfection of my body the way it was.
This is not intended as an oversimplification at all.
I think we all struggle with some degree of body dissatisfaction. The acceptance of ourselves takes conscious work. Loving our perceived imperfections takes practice. It is a conscious decision we must make, again and again.
Here’s a few tips to begin:
Stand up and feel your feet on the floor or ground.
Take a deep breath in and reach arms overhead.
As you exhale, bring hands together in prayer position at your heart center. Keep breathing, slowly & deeply.
Are you standing? Could you walk across the room if you wanted to? Could you run? Could you dance? Could you squat?
Can you stretch, reach, feel the sensation of expansion when you take deep, full breath into your body?
Could you raise your arms to hug someone you love? Could you lift a child or pet?
Can you see with your eyes? Can you hear? Can you taste?
If you answered Yes to most of these questions, you have a perfect body. Give Thanks for the blessing of having this body and feel the Gratitude infuse every inch of you.
You can care for your body by moving it in Yoga practice, or dancing to music you love, getting plenty of sleep, walking in nature, breathing lots of fresh air, eating good food, mostly plants. The more care you take, the better your body will start to look to you.
Really, it’s true.
Yoga may look easy, which makes us think we should be able to do the poses, no problem.
The truth is, Yoga is to be eased into.
It’s about letting your body build the strength, balance and flexibility gradually.
Be patient with your body.
Patience is the practice for the mind.
You’ll find that your mind also becomes stronger, more balanced and more flexible.
Your practice will feel different from day to day, because success and growth in anything is not linear. It’s a zigzagging line with ups and downs and backward and forward movement.
Just begin. Then do it again, every chance you get.
And don't forget to breathe.