Many people ask me, what is yoga? Yoga is breath and movement at its essence. Following the breath as it enters the body through the tip of the nose helps you to bring focus to your body. Then, following it as it travels through your body can help to ‘get you out of your head’ (thinking) and into your body (feeling). As you can’t think and feel at the same time, coming into your body and really feeling your body will give your mind a well earned break. Now we are ready to flow.
Movement in yoga is called asana, but it is also sometimes referred to as poses or postures, which starts to allow you to cultivate a presence that enables you to once again really feel being in your body. This feeling is a powerful distraction from thinking about your day, what you might have for dinner or even tomorrow.
Feeling your body will help you to cut off from the chatter in your mind. The poses help you develop a point of focus which enables you to move your body into pretzel-like shapes. The poses have many levels of intensity so there is something for everyone, from beginner yoga poses to a higher level of intensity such as power yoga for more intermediate to advanced students.
Connecting with the essence of the movement helps you to move from one pose to another.
For example, the essence of the tree pose enables you to feel firmly rooted into the earth, while the eagle pose enables you to feel the essence of an eagle flying free and effortlessly while maintaining a keen focus on its prey.
Through yoga, we come to understand that living through the ego will not assist you to improve the quality of your yoga or your life. The secret of deepening your yoga practice comes from surrendering rather than pushing. As it is when you truly let go of attachment and settle into the pose that transformation starts to begin.
Yoga can be a very humbling practice, which may see you one day doing it like a rock star and the next day struggling to move yourself from one pose to another. If you are struggling to maintain balance in your standing poses ask yourself, ‘what is out of balance in my life?’
Yoga is a lifelong practice where you never really reach your full potential, so we consistently ‘show up’ in its pursuit. Each time you become comfortable in a pose, there is always another level of intensity to be added.
What is yoga? Yoga as a practice was discovered as a way of stretching and moving your body in such a way that you would enable your body to sit in meditation uninterrupted for hours. Yoga allows your body and mind to become one and totally relax or surrender. As it is in the surrender that you will reach your full potential. Yoga rocks!