Oh man, where do I begin?
First, we made it to Atlanta. We’ve been here about 10 days now, and the vacation is over. Hubs went back to work today, the first day in his new role. YAY! As for me, this is the first time I’m sitting down to blog. I’ve been wondering what to write about…
First of all, I’ve never met Maty Ezraty. I only know her name - she’s a long-standing influence in the yoga world. I’ve only been to YogaWorks once (in Philadelphia), and that was after she sold it. And yet reading her article felt like sharing with a kindred spirit on yoga thoughts.
Look, yoga is the latest fitness craze. It’s to this decade what step aerobics was to the 90s. I get it; I’ve been practicing yoga asana for nearly 13 years - it’s great stuff. But what is often missed is that yoga is not only for physical fitness; it’s for mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness as well. We don’t talk about that last part often: spiritual.
And that’s the thing about yoga: it’s a deeply spiritual practice. The word “yoga” is roughly translated as union or yoke. It’s the bringing together of the spiritual and material realms. But we just think of it as doing a bunch of postures on rubber mats, often in heated rooms, while we display the latest lululemon gear. (I LOVE my lululemon gear; it ALWAYS performs. Those people know how to make great stuff. And I’m not an ambassador, so I’m giving you my honest opinion. I also run, and I can recommend the world’s greatest running pants if you’re interested. But I digress…)
Yoga has become a fashionable thing to do, the stuff on which brands are built, and we’ve somewhat lost the entire reason FOR practice: To connect with the Teacher within and live a life guided by Spirit.
Did you know that there are 8 limbs of yoga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and that asana (postures) and pranayama (breath extension) are but two of them? That’s only 25% of an entire philosophy, and those are often misunderstood in today’s western culture.
Now, don’t let me mislead you; the only India I’ve ever been to is the one in my dreams, so all of this comes from a deep sense that we’re missing a LOT when we study yoga in the west. I have, however, read a translation or two of the Yoga Sutras and can tell you that we have a lot to learn about the practice of yoga in daily life.
This post is lot of randomness. I’ve been up since 3 a.m., so I’ll contemplate my navel a bit longer and post some other thoughts later… Perhaps those will be more coherent? We’ll see.