Day 88: What Yoga Is Pt. 2

After yesterday’s post, I thought I would continue by explaining what yoga is.  Yoga is a lifestyle.  It is something that exists outside of the yoga studio.  When you grasp even a fraction of what yoga is, there is no separation between the world and you.  You can’t deny the duality of this existence.  Yoga is simplified but provides an answer to any question with certainty and understanding. Yoga will never make you feel stupid yet make you realize that you have a pattern of thinking that is telling yourself that you are stupid.   

Space is something I keep reading about on Apple News.  Yoga Journal and other bloggers are asking the question about the ability of Teacher Trainings to teach students about this concept of taking space or commanding presence in a room.  As I understand it, taking space is the ability to lead or instruct in such a way that the dance between the yoga student and teacher is harmonious and graceful.  Taking space is what an emcee does at an event.  The teacher does this without ego but has the natural ability to get your attention.  

Yoga is your food.  Yogi’s follow a sattvic diet.  They eat foods that have high levels of prana or life energy.  They are vegetarians, the nice, friendly kind.  The food is made with love so much so that the person eating this food feels the love inside of it.  To compare, the restaurants in my hometown rarely have someone that is putting love into the food.  I have never made this correlation until it was discussed in a class.  Eating food that has joy in it can affect your mood?  It seems like such a simple association but we just don’t apply our minds in that way because, again, we are focusing on consuming.

Yoga is being mindful of what you do in every aspect. I had a yoga teacher once that said that he was present to walking on the grass and that even that act was going against ahimsa. His foot was harming the grass by walking on it. This is something that we do every day. This is something that I look forward to every day. My feet are bare in the grass as I walk my dogs. Practicing ahimsa by taking notice of the way that you walk. Being present to the energy being taken from you as you sit directly on the ground without a barrier. Things like not placing books directly on the ground or touching them with your feet become mindful acts in everyday life.

Yoga is so much more than a group exercise class. Yoga is a way of life that you can choose or not choose. You can pick parts of it that work for you or follow the 8 limb path to liberation. Either way, yoga will be there and not judge you. You will find comfort in the love and non-judgment that you bring to yoga. I started this journey as looking for a new path in life. Yoga provided not only a new path in life but a new life altogether.