These days we all have some familiarity with yoga. It's in television, magazines and every where else we look. Given it's relevancy in pop culture you'd think we would have a clear grasp on what it is, however that is not always the case.
So, what exactly is yoga?
Yoga is a unique combination of physical practice, moral philosophy, self purification, meditation, and breath control. These processes combined bring about balance of mind and body to the practitioner. If you translate Yoga from it's native language of Sanskrit, "yuj," literally means "to yoke, to join, or to unite." Yoga, as we understand it today, was developed over three thousand years ago in India. (There are some schools of thought that believe yoga began at the dawn of human civilization.) The ultimate aim of Yoga is Self-realization, to overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to the state of liberation or freedom.
Who can practice?
Anyone. You don't have to be flexible, strong, calm or whatever other stereotype you may have in mind. ANYONE can practice yoga.
But what about the fancy poses?
A teeeeeeny part of it. Truly. Don't buy into the myth that the poses are all yoga is about. I like to tell my students that "you're not going to become instantly enlightened the moment you put your feet behind your head." While physical and mental health are natural consequences of yoga, the goal of yoga is more far-reaching.
Is it religious? Is it appropriation?
Yoga is not a religion! Yoga is not a religion! And if anyone is trying to convince you that it is- run!! Yoga is more of a philosphy than anything else. It's a set of tools to help one navigate living in these bodies and becoming our best selves.
Appropriation - the buzz word of the year. I mention it here because of its relevancy and importance. The system of yoga comes from India, which for many years was under colonial rule.
So how do I begin practicing?
Find a quiet place and sit! Really it can be that easy. Start to breathe with awareness. Breathe with intention. Breathe. Then if it feels good for you start to add movements to your breath. It doesn't have to be a particular way. Try to tune in- how does your body want to move? what feels good? Remember to breathe! Also- if you're interested join me for classes that you can stream from your online device!
Join our online studio and start your yoga practice now!
We believe in the power of a daily home practice are committed to making that easier for you than ever! Join the online studio community and gain access to a wide array of videos, including yoga classes, meditations, rituals and more.