So, here we are. We've decided to begin the ancient art of putting your leg behind your head. I hope we all know that is really not the point of yoga. The point is doing it while holding in your farts. I still haven't mastered that one myself. No, seriously, yoga is more than a physical practice, in its fully realized execution it is very much as mental, and spiritual as physical. We practice the physical postures to help cleanse and purify the body so that the mind can achieve what we have come to know as enlightenment. You can't comfortably meditate properly if your back is aching from being hunched over a desk all day or your dogs are barking from grinding that pavement. Okay, okay it sounds like malarky and most people come to me because they want to simply stretch or become more flexible. Or conversely, they tell me they can't do yoga because they aren't flexible. That excuse just makes my eyes roll so hard in my head I'm afraid they might actually get stuck. But you don't abstain from going to the gym because you're not fit, right? You're in there almost daily counting reps, tracking weights, measuring your macros, all to achieve the desired affect. It takes practice just like anything else. So before we start meditating, we begin with some yoga poses, then we can learn breathing. That might need to be another blog. Because I probably can't articulate it very well I will leave this excerpt from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali's by Alistar Shearer right here:
"We know that our experience of the world depends entirely on the state of our nervous system. This in turn is influenced by a host of factors-hereditary, diet, environment, and so on. If the nervous system is fresh and rested, the body will be healthy and the mind alert and comprehensive...Conversely, if the system is tired, or strained, perhaps because of overactivity, or the influence of poor food, then our outlook will be restricted, the mind full and our actions ineffectual. Our life will become shallow and unsatisfying, a prey to all forms of negativity."
Let that roll around in your head when you're thinking about yoga. Maybe even read that book. Its short and sweet, which is part of its appeal to me. 132 pages? I can get down with that, especially since I might have a little trouble following through with things. There a ton of translations of the Yoga Sutras but I like this one. It was required reading in our teacher training course so I am sure I at least skimmed it. Now I am reading it with the knowledge I gained in training and its like a little light bulb has been turned on. I can take the tools I gained from YTT and apply them with some clarity to my practice and teaching of yoga.
So, speaking of, there are several types of yoga, scores even. I just want to touch base on my favorite and some of the commonly know styles. Just like anything, find what works for you. Go to studios, try different teachers, go with a friend, try all the free passes and get out of your comfort zone. Honestly, I could spout off what I think I know about yoga and bore you to tears. I am just barely starting to scratch the surface here, so I guess I'll just embed this little link right here for you to gloss over at your leisure.
Right. So that's done. Which style do I prefer, you ask?