yoga, to me

The following is my first homework assignment for Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). The prompt: What is Yoga and Why I do I practice Yoga?

Yoga is a prayer. It is a moment to pause in humility, honoring the fact that I am created, and that in this creation I can do beautiful poses–or perhaps fall out of beautiful poses. In countless classes, I have carried the weight of those near and dear to my heart, and through yoga, I have sent them my energy. On my mat, I have interceded for them.

Yoga is a collective breath. It is syncopating with the rhythm of the person next to me, as he/she inhales and exhales deeply, a kind reminder to myself to do the same. Often on my mat, I take the biggest breath of the day, but also the quietest breath, a moment of peace.

Yoga is raising a white flag. It is the moving meditation which allows me to distinguish between what I can control, and what is beyond my control. It is the moving meditation which reminds me to let go of the latter, and be present to the first.

Yoga is a baptism into the present moment, the only moment that ever matters. On my mat, I sanctify my body, my mind, and my life. Through reunion with this, with here, with now, I am entering into the very heart of God–the perpetual I AM.

Yoga is stillness, like a delicate butterfly resting on a flower petal. It is the give and take of action and inaction, a moment poised in perfect balance.

Yoga is a minster, ever ready for my approach, ever insightful into my soul. On my mat, I learn how to move in harmony with my body. On my mat, I learn how to move in harmony through life. I am taught who I want to be, and who I don’t want to be. On my mat, I am taught how to approach the changing, the transition.

Yoga is a dance, the opportunity to approach the stage and risk. Sometimes I fall out of a pose, sometimes I cannot even try a pose, sometimes I feel like a ballerina, but always I am on my mat, trying and striving to detoxify, burn, sweat, transition, anchor, suspend, balance.

Yoga is growth, that one moment when I finally got crow, or I finally transitioned into a headstand out of wide-legged forward fold. On my mat, I am better than I once was, and it is marked distinction. On my mat, my heart swells with pride.

Yoga is the embrace of grace. On my mat, I surrender into child’s pose, unable or unwilling to go further. Letting go of ego, I focus only on what my body and heart are whispering to me. I notice… with grace. I release… with grace.

Yoga is a doctor, diagnosing and tending to root causes of my aches and pain. On my mat, I heal. On my mat, I feel whole.

Yoga is a fire, purifying me from the inside out. On my mat, all that serves me is fired like gold. All that does not serve me is burned to ash and left behind as I walk away.

Yoga is a rock, a moment to recognize the earth beneath me, the earth that is always beneath me, faithfully and steadily supporting me, holding me, honoring me. It is the center of the universe, and the center of my soul.

Jean Pierre de Caussade writes:

The divine will is a deep abyss of which the present moment is the entrance. If you plunge into this abyss, you will find it infinitely more vast than your desires.

I practice yoga because it is an entrance into the present moment, in which I can find the Divine–infinitely vaster than myself. march 2014 086


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  1. Trackback: my inner warrior | lifeinthedport
  2. Trackback: the gift of yoga: to get and to give | lifeinthedport
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