What is yoga? How do you think about yoga? What is the role yoga has in your life?
I recently asked students to contemplate these questions, and I was so astounded by their replies. I tried to capture their wisdom in small phrases, and it ended up looking like this:
It is so important for us to all reflect on the impact our yoga has on our lives, to begin to connect the dots on how our daily practice, and our studies, slowly begins to manifest in our lives.
Yes, there was mention of a positive physical effect: mobility and strength, which is so crucial for us to live healthy and productive lives.
But by far the vast majority of responses reflected an understanding of the deep effects of yoga, how it transforms us, how it creates an ability to pause, to connect, have dialogue, to remember. How we are more kind, less judgmental, able to love more deeply. How it keeps us present, centered, in equilibrium, and mindful. We begin to have a greater awareness of when we’re “off.” It is a set of guiding principles, a way of learning, a measuring stick, that allows us to adjust to what is, and continue to evolve, and experience the full pulsation of what life offers.
As you can tell, this reflects an understanding that yoga is a whole lot more than postures on a sticky mat. It is a way of being that comes out of a deep connection with our Self.
I invite you to look within yourself to consider how your yoga manifests in your life.
And then, consider this:
What helps or encourages yoga, all these qualities? And what hinders or blocks?
And then, further consider: what are my next steps on the path?
My students reminded me that community was one of the greatest ways they felt encouragement on their path: the sense that there were other like-minded individuals walking with them. If you resonate with any of this, perhaps leave a note to share something about your path of yoga, so we can encourage each other in this way.