Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yoga is Not Just Asana...


 Yoga is not just asana.
Asana
is a part of yoga.
Yoga is also breath work, meditation,
self-study and ritual.

Describing yoga is like describing the sky.

Yoga is there-
so's the sky- both limitless.

Physical poses (asana),
meditation, breathing exercises (pranayama)
  and more encompass the Practice of Yoga.
Asana, what most recognize as Yoga,
is done in most group yoga classes.
The practice of bringing your attention to your breath and movement-
of maintaining that awareness through that breath and movement-
even manipulating your breath and movement to produce specific results
(like preparing for sleep or to provide energy)
is all Yoga.

Asana provides a beautiful place to learn and practice this
awareness of your body and breath.

Asana prepares the body and mind for pranayama. 
Pranayama prepares the body and mind for meditation. 
You can do more introspective practices like applying 
the Yoga Sutras, the 8 Limbs of Yoga or other teachings to your life.
All of the above prepare our body and mind to better
control the random fluctuations of the mind.
Especially important for those of us
who need to listen
to our bodies rather than fight it or ignore it.

Living with Mutiple Sclerosis myself
(or any dis-ease that presents chronically)

is a lesson in patience, compassion and more.
It's easier many times to just give up
as we feel not so hot and
many
of us have experienced doctors, friends or ourselves even
doubting our ability to be all that we can be.


Yoga is a practice.
A life long practice.
You can practice one day- yes, but

your practice will grow with you if you continue to practice.
It's not called Got it-

it's not called Mastery-

it's called Practice for a reaso
n.

A book I was reading recently summed up what being a teacher means to me.
As a yoga teacher- you point to the stars.
Teach how, what, why maybe
but You are the one who Owns the experience.
What will you do with it?!

The journey of Yoga is to each his/her own.
Having the tools isn't enough-
they must be practiced
with diligence and a good heart,
with smooth steadiness and ease.
A
persevering Practice-
doesn't mean it never flails.

Sometimes my practice lacks so I practice more intently.
Over and over.
Just like listening to my breath.
Over and over.
Just like honoring and listening to my body.
Over and over.
Repeat.


Honor Your Practice-
Honor Yourself!
Rock it!
Xo
- Suz