Monday, August 23, 2010

What Yoga Means to ME

An optimist is a person who sees only the light in the picture, whereas a pessimist sees only the shadows. An idealist, however, is one who sees the light and the shadow, but in addition sees something else: the possibilities of changing the picture, of making the light prevail over the shadows. Anon

I've always been labeled as either an optimist or an idealist, but the quote above makes me think how my yoga practice has made me an idealist. I see the light and darkness in the world (the reality of all the crap that's going on) and try to be a light myself for others and ask myself: "how can I rise above all this? how can I make things better? how can I bring more light into the world?"

How can I strip away all the bull*^#' from everything and everyone (including myself) and see things as they really are?

To me yoga is much more to yoga than bending, folding and twisting your body. Yoga challenges me every day..on AND off the mat. Yoga also stretches/opens my mind by asking me to challenge my beliefs about myself, my body, my consciousness, my identity, my community, society and the world. Yoga has created (and continues to create) a real and lasting change in my life. The physical postures produce the added benefits of cleansing my body, ridding any unwanted fat and healing old injuries. But yoga is not an exercise. It is a body awareness technique aimed at liberating my consciousness from old, habitual was of thinking, being and acting. The flexible yoga body is merely a seductive by-product of the work of awakening my consciousness.

Yoga challenges me to live more authentically, be more present, and be more aware and mindful of my every interaction. It teaches me to be more fully engaged in my every day living and face every day with clarity strength and courage. And if I can accomplish this sense of attention and mindfulness on the mat, I can duplicate this in my life off the mat.

What does your yoga practice mean to you?

Blessings and Namaste

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