What should Yoga look like?
For the past month I have been doing pretty much nothing else but yoga.
And by yoga I mean YOGA in its full glory. I have learned more about the Yamas and Niyamas and tried to practice them to the best of my abilities. I have often started my mornings at 5:30am to practice asana for few hours, followed by many more sweaty hours of asana workshops until late evening. I have learned that singing OM together in a class can be the best thing ever (whereas I used to hate it). I have been singing Kirtan songs like no other and meditated in various ways in various locations (from a sweaty yoga shala to the beach during sunset).
During this month I have been thinking what Yoga should look like.
As you know, yoga is not just about the asanas. Even when we are doing asana practice, it’s not about how it looks on the outside, but rather what the asana is meant to be doing to you on the inside. Sure, you will also gain physical strength and stamina from the poses, but mostly they are designed to develop your internal yoga – to promote body awareness and connect the breath to the body, to cleanse your body, to massage internal organs, to aid blood flow, to aid digestion, to calm your nervous system and to improve rotation of joints. All things you do not see. You have to feel it. And without all of which the practice of asana will be merely empty gymnastics.
What does that mean in practice?
Krishnamacharya yoga is grounded in two main descriptions of asana; sthira and sukham, meaning steadiness and ease. According to Krishnamacharya, if there is no steadiness and ease in asana practice, there is no asana. If you cannot get into a pose with steadiness and ease, you are not ready for the pose. Instead, the poses that you cannot do are your best teachers in what you need to develop.
I like this, and it embodies everything I believe and love about Yoga. We are all different, and we all have a different journey in process. Why should yoga be any different with this? It should reflect your body and what it needs. It should reflect your journey and the goals you have in life.
Therefore the answer to my main question is very simple: Yoga should look like YOU.
I don’t care how the neighbor is doing the poses (although sometimes I curse my stiff hammies), I care how my body is feeling in mine. For Reconnect Discover this is my goal. To allow our yoga to be gentle, personal and respective of You. To use yoga as it’s meant to be used – to still the fluctuations of the mind and to build a healthy temple for our souls in the process. To let it teach us where we can improve, to guide us away from our egos, to teach us to love and respect ourselves.
I wish to promote the internal yoga. To promote the fact that while we may all be doing the same asana quite differently, while we are different, we are still connected, still the same. And most importantly, to let our hearts lead the way.