Yoga has become so popular in recent years with many different styles and lineages available to us. Yogis worldwide are practicing in hot rooms, ashrams, on paddle boards, in anti-gravity swings – all of which I think are fantastic and offer a unique experience to the practitioner. However, I wanted to take a moment to reconnect with the essence of yoga. To speak to the qualities that bind together all of these different styles of practice. No matter which style we subscribe to, or where we choose to practice, the foundation of yoga remains the same.
For me, the physical asana practice of yoga is fun, enjoyable and provides a great body workout through promoting strength and flexibility in unison with healing breath-work. The physical practice in my eyes is like a beautiful pathway that leads into Savasana. It is in Savasana that the over-active, analytical mind is able to find a space of quite consciousness, peace, a moment to rest. And I think this is what unites all of the different lineages of yoga – the peace and clarity of mind experienced after our active mind steps aside.
Another common theme all lineages share is the promotion of love and kindness, of course to the world around us, but also, to ourselves. We are encouraged to listen to our bodies during the physical practice, to observe our words and our thoughts to ourself – are they kind? We may have teachers and mentors as we develop our yoga practice however, above all, we are encouraged to listen to ourselves, we are our greatest teacher and inside all of us lies the answer we seek. I believe that this theme of empowerment transcends all the different styles of yoga.
We are encouraged to make our choices in a state of awareness – to be aware of the effects of our actions and to embrace these effects wholeheartedly. Be aware of the choices you are making and take ownership of how these choices are shaping your life. After all there is no wisdom greater than that inside ourselves and I love that yoga is a way for us to listen to our selves, our bodies, and then make our own choices freely.
I hope that as you continue on your own journey as a yoga practitioner you will hold dear to your heart the unique blessings that yoga brings into your life, that you will listen to the truth that resonates within yourself and let that be your teacher.
With love x