What is Yoga

It has been some time that I wanted to start a blog on my yoga journey, but just didn’t quite get down to it. Yoga found me some 10 years ago, but I never really got serious about it till I was introduced Ashtanga yoga. It totally transformed me and got me enrolled into a Yoga Teacher Training this May with Alicia Cheung from Yogaworks in Bali. One of the pre-training assignments given was to come up with a short write up on what yoga is. It wasn’t until I injured my arm and lower back recently, that gave me the inspiration to start on it, and an apt first entry to my blog.

Here goes, What is Yoga?

Many writers and yoga practitioners define yoga as originating from India, and is essentially the union of the body, mind and spirit. Some also define yoga as simply a conscious awareness of your breath with your motion. To the community out there, most see yoga as another sport, as a means to keep the body lean and healthy. And to those who have only as much heard of the word yoga, envision yoga to be some exercise that contorts the body to pretzel looking shapes, meant only for the flexible. Hence, the definition of yoga seems to vary with each individual, depending on how deep your relationship with it is.

Importantly, what is yoga to me? Yoga to me has transcended beyond the physical asanas. Yoga has evolved for me with time. It has become more an inward experience. And many parallels can be drawn with life. Each time I bring myself to the mat, I can be doing the same sequence yet it is different. Depending on my body condition or the sleep quality I have, or if my mind is cluttered, each brings a different kind of experience to my mat. What I’ve yet to learn however, is not to let my ego get the better of me. More often than not, I find myself comparing with the person next to me, or wondering how many poses have he/she be given. All these strips away the concentration I so need when I’m at my own practice. And with that, it takes away my humility as well.

It is only when we are hit hard, do we take a step back to analyze. What went wrong. Have I pushed myself too hard ? Am I paralyzed by fear? Have I not learned to trust myself ? Have I gone too far too fast ? The physical asanas have evolved to become more of a mental and spiritual experience. What you learn about yourself on the mat is how you are off the mat.

I know this yoga journey I am on is a life-long one. I will have my good days and my bad days on and off the mat, I will fall, I will learn to pick myself up again, I will learn to work within my limitations and embrace it, I will live within the imperfections and find my own perfection in them. I will learn through the pains and sufferings and not avoid them. That is where the heart of yoga to me lies. Isn’t that also what the essence of life is really? To deal with the adversities that life has to bring and grow all the wiser, stronger? And, during this self-discovery, to find that inner light within, to live light, spread the light and be that light.

1 thought on “What is Yoga

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s