Be it you are in, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, or Montreal, or even aboard Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Bali, Thailand, New Zealand, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, the question of what yoga is, is open to lots of interpretations . For me I took up yoga as a form of exercise in highschool. Like many others at the time it was more of a ‘fad’ rather than a daily practice. Now it is so much more than that.
Yoga – and even more after doing a yoga teacher training program – has become an integral part of my life and a central goal. There are many topics that I could touch on but to sum it up: To me, Yoga is a life-style, a way to connect with myself and others and ultimately a way to bring about peace in an otherwise chaotic world.
Part of the lifestyle of Yoga is about bringing balance into one’s life. After a stressful day, there is nothing more relaxing for me than a good vinyasa or flow.
If you are anxious or excited about something, Yoga can slow you down physically and mentally. At the same time, Yoga can help you energize your body for the day!
By adding a purpose to your daily practice yoga can bring balance into your daily living. The Yoga lifestyle also brings about mindfulness and the ability to choose to see the good in the world.
Yoga connects us to ourselves, and us to others. The connection of us to others is a fairly simple concept. We enjoy yoga so we attend classes, meet other people, create friendships and ultimately create a community of like-minded individuals.
Connections like this happen frequently due to the nature of western group yoga classes, but the harder connection is to ones self. This happens with continued practice and growth.
For me, Yoga helps slow my mind and body and look inward. It makes me address the conflicts within myself through meditation and breath.
The physical aspects of Yoga helps me make mind-body connections that deepen my understanding of myself; why I did things in the past, what choices I can make for my future and being mindful of where I am at right now.
Being mindful has been a large part of my Yoga journey thus far and so it is only natural for me to associate Yoga with peacefulness.
Many people overlook the importance of meditation and breath within their practice, but it is an integral part of Yoga. In times of chaos I have regained control through meditation.
My daily Yoga practice is something I look forward to and something I can count on during stressful times. The inner peace that comes with my practice has been a fundamental part of my adult life.
I truly believe that human beings are on a constant search for peace and that is partially what keeps people coming back to the mat to practice.
In The End
Yoga is a concept that I have found to be very hard to articulate. I know that my limited belief of what Yoga is will change over time and with further study and practice. I expect it to!
This however has been my experience with Yoga thus far. I believe that every person can benefit from Yoga, even if they only ever practice it one single time in their life.