“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” ― T.K.V. Desikachar
Or maybe it is? Let’s explore this thought…
Many people come to Yoga looking for a “practice” to work their body into fitness. Yoga is a physical thing for them. I will confess, I did the same, or so I thought. At 35, I gave up weight lifting* as I was bored and tired of it. I wanted something else to occupy my daily fitness time and Yoga seemed like a fine, new space to explore.
I have written about this, and the endless benefits of Yoga, many times on this blog. Scroll to the bottom, type in Yoga on the search bar, and explore my thoughts on this life changing gem we call Yoga.
A historical fact about Yoga is that the poses of Yoga are only a couple hundred years old. British colonization of India was the spark that added poses to the spiritual practice of Yoga. English culture, at the time, was obsessed with fitness and gymnastics as a manner of attaining fitness. As the British sought to make India’s spiritual practices their own, they changed the practice of Yoga. Prior to Britian’s addition of gymnastic like poses to Yoga, the only poses of Yoga were basically seated postures for meditation.
The now many poses of Yoga have evolved into, well, many styles of “doing” Yoga.
Yoga poses have suited me well. I am a very energetic person. Sitting for hours (Seriously, who am I trying to kid? Sitting for minutes drives me crazy) in meditation would have me climbing the walls inside of myself. I suspect, with practice, I would get better. But why bother? Yoga poses, the physical - moving meditation of Yoga, work for me. I can do poses for 5 minutes, or 45 minutes, of complete peace even when the world around me is spinning with crazy.
I do Yoga daily, at my home, surrounded by two teenaged males, a dog, and several cats. The chaos disappears when I am on my mat doing poses. The poses are a “vessel” for me to be the hollow bone. As I am doing poses, I am creating a Sacred Space for Divine Consciousness, the Collective Soul, to flow through me with each and every breath. Yoga poses are my moving breath and body awareness meditation.
A daily woods walk, with my best friend Lily, is the moving meditation’s, icing on the cake.
As humans, we are spiritual beings. Our bodies are the hollow bone, the hollow reed, for Divine Consciousness to flow through. Most of us live at frenzied paces and have little time to be aware of our connection to everything; that we are everything and everything is us. Moving into a pose, holding the pose, and moving out of the pose with complete breath awareness is a gift of slowing down. A gift of being in the flow of the Universal Energy.
Meditation in motion, Yoga Poses, is a gift I give myself every day when my mat gets rolled out onto the floor. Or the ground. Or a rock.
May your 2019 be filled with Peace, Love, Connection, and Vibrant Health.
*weight lifting, practiced with the same mindful attention to breath, body, mind, and spirit is Yoga. As is doing dishes, laundry, stacking wood, mowing the lawn, or any activity. Plowing, I admit, is better with beer!