Harper Collins dictionary has two definitions for “Yoga.” The first definition is “Yoga is a type of exercise in which you move your body into various positions in order to become more fit or flexible, to improve your breathing, and to relax your mind.” (Harper Collins Publishers, 2020).
This definition is somewhat accurate as it can be considered a form of exercise and relaxation; however, Yoga is much deeper than that. The second definition from Harper Collins dictionary is slightly more accurate.
They state, “Yoga is a philosophy which first developed in India, in which physical exercises and meditation are believed to help people become calmer and united in spirit with God (Harper Collins Publishers, 2020)”.
This description is somewhat more reliable; however, Yoga can not be accurately defined in solely one definition; the documentary “Yoga is” by Suzanne Bryant describes all elements of Yoga fantastically.
Yoga helps one connect with themselves and their soul. Taking the time to breathe peacefully without distractions can help people in connect. This is connecting to their soul and discover their purpose in life.
You learn in yoga teacher training – what most of Vancouver practice – that the Asana practice helps find meaning in life as we finally listen to what our body needs and find clarity through struggles. The documentary also identified that having feelings of completeness and happiness happens when we finally stop wanting material things. Things like shoes, jewelry, etc and we begin to love ourselves and the world around us.
When we find love for ourselves, others, and the world, we can also truly heal from our past, “our karma” (Bryant, 2012). Once I finished the documentary, I sat down and meditated for a while and seriously thought to myself, “What is yoga to me?”. It is not just a kind of exercise, relaxation, and stretching to support my mental and physical health conditions, it is more a philosophy of life.
To many, it made it sound unusual to state it as a philosophy of life until you start studying the practice. This practice has provided me with a light on the darkest of days. It made me recognize that happiness is not the material objects you own but the people and nature around.
One of the first things I had learnt when I began my journey with “Yoga with Adrienne” is that when in tree pose, your feet are grounded by the earth.
After reflection, it such a real circumstance that no one considers. We are forever grounded by the earth. If we were not, then everyone would be floating in the air. To me, Yoga will always be a philosophy of life.