For years I studied asana (yoga poses) as it applied to traditional yoga. I had a a closet judgement about anything that was not a traditional yoga pose, or I just saw it as completely separate from yoga- “oh that is dance”, “oh that’s martial arts”. I am finally free of that closed minded opinion that yoga is specific to whatever Iyengar’s Light on Yoga or the Ashtanga practice said was yoga. Yoga for me has become an expression of my body, mind, and spirit, just like it was for those that created the traditional poses. Yoga borrowed from dance, acrobatics, and martial arts since the beginning- they all arise from creativity. So what is Yoga then?
Yoga for me is a full practice of life – to be present, and to take action and make choices from the place inside me that is connected to the highest. Yoga is the state of bliss. Yoga is the study of my mind, body, soul, nature, and everything in this world. So to me weather I am on a Mat or in a hallway of a hotel I can practice Yoga, and I can express my practice my emotions through my body in a variety of ways. Sometimes it comes out in a traditional yoga pose, and sometimes it comes out in something creative like this photo.
I am grateful for the time in my life that I dedicated myself to studying the traditional yoga postures because it got me to a certain point with my body, I needed that focus. Now my physical focus is just much more specific, instead of a bunch of poses, I study my bones and how my muscles interact with them. This study has opened up a whole new rhealm of posibility for my body.
What is Yoga to you, or what does it mean to you? What do you focus on in your practice on and off the mat?