Ok, if I’m being totally honest with you, I’ve been yet again resisting and avoiding this for some time. There’s a deep longing that rips through me to write so much on this topic, but that crazy negative voice in my head ”my ego” has been getting louder and louder and has been taking over for too long. So here I am today, as nervous as a new speaker taking her first nervous steps on stage!
What I share is neither right nor wrong and please don’t take what I say to be the truth. I invite you to think about what I share, let it sit with you and then explore this concept of yoga for yourself. Some of you will agree with what I have to say, some will disagree and some may have no comments and that’s perfectly ok!
To begin, I’d like to share some thoughts that might help you understand the many different meanings of yoga. The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. Many of us when we hear the word ‘yoga’ we think the physical practice, the asana. Yes, partly but there is so much more to yoga than the physical postures! That’s where this post has taken me today.
There have been many different interpretations of yoga which have been handed down over centuries. One is ‘come together’, ‘to unite’, ‘to yoke’, ‘integration’, ‘wholeness’. It encourages the harmonious connection of our three components; body, mind, and spirit.
Another meaning of the word yoga is ‘to attain what was previously unattainable’. So to explain this, when we find a way of bringing something which we are unable to do in to action, that step is yoga. Every change is yoga.
E.g. When we find a way to come into a forward bend touching our toes, when we elegantly float up into headstand or handstand, when we learn to play an instrument, when we learn the art of public speaking, when we learn to create beautiful art, when we learn the meaning of yoga (or any other subject for the matter) for the first time with the help of a book or when we find out more about ourselves or others through a conversation – we have reached a point we’ve never been before! All of these movements and changes are yoga.
Then, there’s another part of yoga which has to do with our actions. Yoga therefore also means acting in such a way that we put 100% attention on the one action at hand, rather than having our attention spread and spanned across many things at once.
E.G. Suppose I was writing this blog post and I had one part of my mind thinking what I want to say and another part is thinking about what to cook for dinner or something entirely different to the actual writing. The more that I’m focused on my writing and the subject, the greater attention I have in my action in this very moment. But also; the opposite could happen, I could begin writing with so much awareness and attention and then my mind begins to waver thinking about the clothes I need to wash, the bills I need to pay, the errands I need to run, or my plans for the rest of the day. It will appear and come across that I’m acting with mindfulness and attentiveness, but really what’s happening is that I’m paying very little attention to the task at hand.
I’m functioning, but I’m not present. To practice Yoga is to be in a state in which we are always present, fully present – in every moment, every single action.
Only when you are fully present, will you see real beauty, enjoy gratitude, and experience true happiness. It’s those moments when we’re present – that make life great, so its pretty obvious that learning to be more present is something very worthwhile learning and no better place to start than with yoga!
Yours, in love and light.
Be kind, be courageous, be yourself.
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