What yoga means to each of us is as unique as we are ourselves. To some in our modern time, yoga is simply a low impact physical activity done maybe once or twice a week.
To others however, yoga is much more than that. It is an ancient discipline that over time, can help unite each of us with our true selves…which bringing us to our own conscious reality.
It is much more than a stretch or a series of movements. For me in Vancouver, yoga is a way of life, a standard to which we live and learn by.
It is the union between our body, our soul, and our universe. When we begin to peel back the physical aspects of yoga and delve a bit deeper into the aspects of the 8 limbed path, I believe it becomes clear that this particular discipline is so much more than postures.
Historically, the word yoga was derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “yuj” and means to yoke, to unite, to join.
It was practiced for thousands of years in the eastern world before modern western civilization ever discovered its many benefits.
Although the physical benefits seen through the discipline are numerous – and can have profound real-world implications such as increased mobility, strength, and stamina – the mental benefits of yoga are so powerful in nature that they cannot be denied or overlooked.
Practicing asana, pranayama and dhyana allows you to become more aware of your breath, your body, and how they function together.
Taking a yoga teacher training we can slowly, you begin to understand the workings of your mind and how thoughts and desires arise. You create consciousness through breath and begin to form a powerful mindbody connection.
This union with the conscious vision of ourselves allows us to transcend our self-imposed limits and create magic in all other areas of our life.
Simply put, yoga is magic. It allows us to find balance in all areas of our life, both on and off the mat, simply by dedicating ourselves to our practice. Whether it is 5 or 50 minutes a day everyday, or perhaps almost every day.. This dutiful dedication over time is what paves the path back to ourselves.
Composed of many origins, it can be overwhelming to try and define what the path of yoga is or can be to each of us. It is not simply poses, breathwork, or meditation on their own. It is not simply a stretch.
Although sometimes a good down dog is definitely needed! Our unique practice is a powerful force to be reckoned with, one that when understood and applied, can shake us to our very core and make us question who we truly are or will become.
The lessons that are subconsciously learned in our practice can often manifest, fully consciously, in our day to day lives.
Forever altering how we react to, or more realistically – create – our own reality. By living our life with dedication to the 8 limbs of yoga we can change our lives and the lives of those around us.
Although we never know what our next breath will bring us, we can learn to create harmony within ourselves and unite our soul with the universe.