Yoga More Than the Playlist
The practice of yoga is so much more than the yoga butt, the playlist, or the teacher leading the practice. Yoga will awaken you to your true potential. It can provide tools and techniques to help you move through the journey of life, we just have to be willing to get out of our own way. Often times this requires getting uncomfortable on the mat and in the world in order to explore the emotions that arise without reacting. When we get uncomfortable, part of the practice is coming back home to breath and become the observer, not the drama queen/king. This is not easy. I have been practicing and teaching yoga for 20 years plus and I often forget about all the tools and techniques; I continue to practice and do the best I can.
This occurs in our daily lives as well- when dealing with family, partners, co-workers, and even driving in traffic. The more we get to the mat, the more we begin to soften to the experiences and begin to go with the flow. We come back to nothingness from one moment to the next. Please remember it doesn’t happen after 1 class or even 10. This practice requires practice and dedication, something that our culture doesn’t encourage. We are an “I want it now culture;” we expect everything to be instantaneous.
Start today to awaken to the beauty and possibilities waiting to be discovered. Not because I say so; try it, I dare you. Get to the yoga mat 5 days a week. Meditate even for 5 mins a day. Slow down and get quiet. When is the last time you got quiet and listened to someone instead of talking over them? When is the last time you looked into a stranger’s eyes and smiled with your whole being or helped someone other than yourself?
I feel like the dilemma is that many yoga studios aren’t teaching yoga. Their focus is primarily on the physical suit–the outer body, the annamaya kosha. We then miss the energy body the pranamaya kosha some refer to this as Chi and the mental body, our mind, our emotions, and our nervous system the manomaya kosha. All three of these make up the system of yoga when practiced in synchronicity. Which then brings us to the wisdom body, the inner knowing, the vijanamaya kosha, and finally the higher self, the bliss body, anandamaya kosha.
I believe yoga is about transcending the physical body. When all of our focus is on the physical suit, it becomes very difficult to adapt to the aging process and to take the focus from the external to the internal,- the “higher self”. You are dying from the moment you are born. It is a thing- it is inevitable. Life can be messy and uncomfortable, yet so lovely at times. Doing the work is not easy. Be that as it may, with these tools and techniques from the yoga practice we can begin to open to all the possibilities waiting for us.