When I did my yoga teacher training (ytt) in Vancouver 5 years ago, I thought I knew what yoga was. Yoga is a lot of things; and there are few things that yoga is not. Yoga is control; but not precision. Yoga is an exploration.
It is a culture; a way of life; a spiritual journey. Yoga is personal, but yoga is also shared. Yoga is aligning the inner workings of the body, so the mechanical components are more in-sync.
Yoga is not a competition with anyone else; it’s not even a competition with yourself. Sure, you’re trying to be better than yourself – than the person you were yesterday – but you’re not competing.
If you don’t win one day, it doesn’t mean you’re losing. Growth is learning to accept that progress is not linear.
That you may fall for a long period of time. You may fall for an hour, a day, a week, a month. You may fall for a year. But growth is seeking exponential improvements after the ebb and embracing the flow. Yoga is not tight clothes on flexible bodies.
Yoga is not a beautiful pose on a sunset beach. Yoga does not judge. Yoga is finding comfort in the home that is your body and accepting it in all its’ forms.
We are yoga. We use yoga to find something and that something is us; so, we are yoga. We are often disconnected from ourselves and are afraid to find that connection and confront our psyche.
We continually sweep the dirt under the rug and consider it cleansing, but the rug is only so big, and you will eventually need to cleanse the freaky shit under there.
This cleansing doesn’t mean ‘ridding’. Cleansing is making friends with the monsters – with your dark self. If you never experience the dark, how do you know what is light?
Reflect on the deep shit so you can learn to embrace the next wane and celebrate the lightness. Yoga allows us to control how we project our own thoughts onto the world we live in.
With this control through the meditative state that is yoga, we can modify our world to not be such a cruel place.
Yoga offers us access back to the truth that is ourselves and the world around us. Yoga isn’t easy. Being yourself isn’t easy.
Embracing change isn’t easy. Meditating isn’t easy. But using yoga to guide yourself on these journeys takes the fear away from the discomfort.