Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years. Only relatively recently has it gained popularity in western culture. Still, many people do not know what yoga is really all about. For many Westerners, it is another class to take, akin to pilates or zumba; an alternative to running and good for injuries. It is those things, yes, but yoga is so much more.
Hatha flow – or physical yoga – is only one part of the practice. Yoga is a spirituality and a philosophy in addition to a physiology.
“There is no physical yoga and spiritual yoga. If it is exclusively physical, it won’t be yoga. Yoga is dealing with the entirety; it is a union.” – Prashant Iyengar, son of B.K.S Iyengar
Date a yogini.
She moves through difficulty, through discomfort, through uncertainty to find a place of stillness and ease. This hasn’t always been her way. She has a past that has brought her here to this point. She has a story to tell and she is open to telling it, if you are open to hearing it.
She jumps and trusts herself enough to navigate whatever comes her way. She tries new things and knows that falling is a part of the practice of life. She tries again and doesn’t lose faith. The illusion of perfection does not frighten her or cripple her efforts, but instead she sees it as a challenge to move past.
She knows her worth and is continually improving upon herself. Not to achieve unattainable perfection or for financial or material gain or fame. She works toward dissolving her ego, being more open, honest, and loving. More trusting and vulnerable. To be a better listener, to others and herself. Staying true to herself is her greatest desire.
She accepts and goes with the flow of life. She knows what she wants and she also knows that things take time. She practices patience and isn’t in a rush. She is enjoying every minute.
She practices gratitude, and is actually thankful for life’s struggles. She still gets sad and she gets angry. In fact, she feels the full range of her emotions. But she uses these emotions to know that she is alive and as fuel as she moves through the asanas. She lets go through the body to let go through the mind and spirit.
She knows her body and the joy of moving it and stretching every muscle. She knows how to breathe into spaces that are tight or painful. She listens to her body. She chooses to nourish it with good food.
Her intuition is strong. She sees things as they are and that may scare you. She sees in you the good that maybe you didn’t even know was there. She loves love and gives it as freely as she receives it. Don’t lose her trust. She knows what’s important in life and focuses on that, letting all else fall away.
If you are lucky enough to experience her love, you won’t want to let her go. If her destiny is elsewhere, you must, but you will be better for having known her.
You might even take yoga up yourself and come to find this love of life for yourself. And that was her intention all along.