Daily Yoga Practice
I remember during a conference with Sharathji (Sharath Jois) he said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Asana is not yoga. Asana you do for maybe two hours a day. Yoga you do for 24-hours every day.” This part of his talk really stuck with me; it’s what I remember the most. So, if asana is not yoga, what is yoga?
I have heard many definitions for yoga. It is the union of the body, mind, and soul. It is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind. It is the search of the Inner Self through the self. And I am sure there are still a few more. But Sharathji also said, Yoga is a lifestyle.
So practicing Yoga is how we choose to live our lives every day, moment to moment. Finding peace and balance in everything we do.
In the western world, asana practice is seen as yoga practice, but getting on your mat and moving your body is really just a tool. A proven method that cleanses and keeps the physical body supple and steady.
Through yoga postures, we learn to turn our attention inward, into our bodies and our breath. This has the power to open our energy channels and release deeply stored emotions, teaching us surrender and faith--but more importantly, allowing gratitude, love, peace and mindfulness to take their place. Many times we are unaware of what emotions we are releasing, but we may feel a sense of ease and calmness after practice, as though a weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
Daily yoga practice puts life in perspective and reminds us of what’s important. Life happens when we least expect it; we can’t control everything that happens around us and to tell you the truth I don’t think we should. Too much control and planning brings rigidity and sets boundaries, oftentimes taking away the elements of surprise and wonder.
Yoga is most definitely a lifestyle--a lifelong practice. As such, it must be done for many years before we can truly experience all of its benefits. But a little bit every day goes a long way. Put your best effort forward. Be the best version of yourself. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Choose to see the bright side of a situation.
It’s not always easy, but it is possible. All things are possible!