Ok. So I talk about yoga a lot. I can’t help it. When I’m passionate about something, I share the love. And because I do, I’ve been asked a time or two, “what is yoga all about?” Oh, where do I start? Honestly, I rarely give the same answer twice. Just when I think I know what “yoga is”, I have a new experience or discover a new description, definition, quote, etc, which alters, elevates, or deepens my understanding.
Yoga really has to be experienced to be understood. But saying, “you have to try it to know it”, seems to fall short for inquiring minds. So I’ve Googled, flipped through books, reviewed my notes, and asked a handful of teachers to see how they answer this age old question.
My discovery? The explanations are esotheric, practical, intellectual, thought-provoking, feel good, challenging, and philosophical.
So what will I say the next time I’m asked, “what is yoga all about?” Only time (and circumstance) will tell. Today, I answer….yoga is my way to say hey there, how are you, I love you.
I hope you enjoy the growing list I’ve started here, and you’ll consider sharing your favourites with me.
Yoga is a Science
Yoga is a System
Yoga is Union
Yoga is a Way to Connect with the Self
- A method for increasing awareness of the inner self (Yoga, Mastering the Basics, Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik)
- Connection to the authentic self (Barron Baptiste)
- Relation; means; union; knowledge; matter; logic; upaya (path) (Yoga Mala, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois)
- A tremendous opportunity to be honest with yourself. It’s like looking through a magnifying glass at yourself. And when you begin to see yourself as you really are, if you take the time to look, you get to manage your life in a different way (Yoga Is film, Eddie Modestini)
- The way of establishing the mind in the Self…the means by which the mind is directed toward the Self and prevented from going toward outside objects…the means to the realization of one’s true self (Yoga Mala, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois)
Yoga is a Path
- a universal path as well as traditional teachings and practices to cultivate and realize our full potential (Shiva Rea)
Yoga is a Journey
- A journey that culminates in sublime success and happiness (Rod Stryker)
Yoga is a Practice
- Practices and techniques that are ultimately meant to lead you to an experience in which you recognize both the fullest, most essential part of yourself and the grandeur of the magnificence of the life around you (The Four Desires, Rod Stryker)
- 99 percent practice and one percent theory (Sri Pattabhi Jois)
- The backbone of every beginning class is practice – postures combined with breath training and systematic relaxation (Himalayan Institute)
Yoga is a Heightened Way of Being
Yoga is Skillful Living
Yoga is Life
Yoga is the Mastery of the Mind
Yoga is Being Set Free from Pain