Many people practice yoga as their fitness
regime – which I believe is totally fine, if this is what they want. However, yoga
shouldn’t be placed in the fitness realm. Getting a strong and flexible body
might happen through regular practice, but yoga isn’t just moving from one pose
to another. It’s about ourselves, establish a deep connection to the self and
learn on the way.
If you’re after competition and judgment, the yoga
studio is the wrong place to be, as yoga isn’t competitive at all, it’s not
about can or can’t, it’s not about the student next to you. We are using asanas
to quieten our mind, to slide into a moving meditation.
That doesn’t mean we can’t do some of the fancy
stuff that is popular right now! Go, try everything that catches your
attention, but also understand there is more.
When attending a yoga class, be prepared that
you might not get what you want. Instead, be open to receive what the teacher
is ready to give to you. Encouraging and guiding you to look inward, and become
rooted in the deeper sense of yoga.
It’s a slow process, there’s no rush.
Photocredit Pasindu Madushan Photography
Yogis, let’s go for the next big step in 2018:
The new magic term is „self-care“. Make it your number one priority!
You might have already established a fitness routine and maybe you eat healthy, which is great. What’s new is, instead of squeezing some time in at lunch or after work for a yoga class (or any other activity), make it a priority on your to do list. A time in your calendar, that is untouchable, as it is YOUR time. A busy time in your schedule, so it can’t clash with any other appointments.
Allow your main goal to not be fitness related, but to get grounded, to be connected with yourself and feel happy, healthy and at peace.
Incorporate a daily meditation practice, this will have a huge impact on calming down your mind. And focus on a mindful approach when managing your day.
Nothing is important, but you. Nothing counts, but your wellbeing. Whenever you might experience stress, take a couple of deep belly breaths and let your answer be a smile.
Take care yogi, take care of yourself, you are your priority!
This is what I asked my students in yesterdays’ classes to think about. The answer doesn’t matter, just think about what yoga mean to YOU. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad, it’s about being aware of what it is for you. I like the idea on a day like this – international yoga day – to visualize millions of people all over the world practicing, same time, same day. It makes me feel connected. Connected to a community that is real, but same time not tangible, as the wider relation is rather mind based.
“But how many people know exactly what yoga is?” asks Dr Manmath Gharote, director of the Lonavla Yoga Institute, located south-east of Mumbai. “Integration of personality is the prime aim of yoga.” The five aspects of “personality” which “should work harmoniously,” he told BBC Radio 4, are physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. The physical aspects of yoga – which improve flexibility of the spine, joints and muscles – are important, he adds, but the function of “asanas” (postures) are ultimately to benefit the mind. (Quote from BBC World News)
What does yoga mean to you? Take a moment and think about it, without judging. If yoga is your fitness tool, excellent. If yoga is your entry point to your spiritual practice, great. Anything in between, wonderful. Yoga has a plenty of variety to offer and it’s up to you how you want to benefit. For me yoga is about discovering Svatma, my true nature. Connect to myself, immerse into myself sometimes feels like the world stops. It’s just me, sometimes not even that, while my light starts shining.
There seem to be about 900 asanas… can you imagine?! Darling, honestly, you can only master a certain set of them. So why don’t you take it easy, forget about the rest, forget about just jumping from one level to the next. It bears repeating, IT’S NOT IMPORTANT. You are not in a competition! I already wrote about this and I won’t stop repeating, as the principals of yoga go beyond asanas.
“Yoga is the journey of the self through the self to the self.” (Bhagavad Gita)
Yoga is transformation. You define the purpose. It might be bliss, higher consciousness, find your true self, you name it. For sure the final state isn’t a certain degree of flexibility or mastering super duper advanced postures. But the asana practice is the entry point, this is where we start our transformation.
I like the idea of my asana practice being a moving meditation. I experienced it a couple of times and it felt out of this world. An awesome connection, with me, with everything. It’s an approach about stopping the mind going crazy, it’s about detaching. Yoga isn’t just a fitness tool, yoga is about working on yourself. Yoga is a transformation. Transform your body, transform your mind.
The asana practice is just one of the 8 limbs – read more about it here.
Take care yogi, don’t break your awesome body, do yoga and enjoy life!