When Does Movement Become Yoga?
For Christmas, I’d like to take yoga classes I can zone out into my own peaceful state and not be compared to my fellow students. I want classes I take and teach to be filled with people of all sizes, those new to yoga and those who have practiced for years.
I want those yogis to be flexible and inflexible. I want Joe and Jane Doe to come in off the street because yoga is just as much for them as it is for me and you…
I want them to wear clothing from the Dollar Store instead of sporting matching water bottle, mat, hair band, top, and bottom sets from the various stores. I want to feel like yoga is truly for everyone, and not just for model-esque, elitist snobs who fill studios because they don’t have to work and because yoga is the cool thing to do…
In short: I want the true heart of yoga to shine so bright it feels like a sun-kissed summer day permanently lodged deep in the soul. Could you do that for me, or us, old guy. Could you? Hit me baby, just one time?
We can see this all around us in nature: the leaves are falling, the air is changing and we are harvesting an entirely new crop of fruits and vegetables.
It is important that we change with the seasons — just as nature does — by adapting our daily habits,food choices and yoga practice…Ironically, it is only through change that was can stay grounded during this shifting season.
In today’s world, we are always in motion, always exposed to the noise of information, to visual congestion, and to the media. Our instinct is to shut down and hide maybe even run away. It takes an enormous amount of “emotional maturity” to keep our options open rather than to submit to our instinct to flight or fight nature. Therefore, we never have time to be with ourselves or to relate to others and make excuses as I am too busy (overused words) which layered with cynical and egotistical attachments. Over-scheduled? Scared of downtime? Afraid of silence? Is busy-ness a choice? Is this why you are suffering? Sure, there are projects, appointments and plenty days with a full schedule, but how to approach those moments is entirely up to you. Begin with taking responsibility to stop what is stimulating the pain.
Yoga teaches us to slow down, to let go of the busyness, to rediscover how to feel, to tune into the body, to observe, to live mindfully and to silence to reconnect with our thoughts.
Have compassion for yourself and stop missing out on “your amazing life”!
We experienced the heartbeat of kirtan and devotional singing with Johanna Beekman and friends. Johanna’s unforgettable songs opened our hearts and inspired us on this yoga journey. I am so thankful to Olivia for asking me if I would be interested in bringing Johanna here to the the Midwest. Johanna Beekman Music is on a national tour, so check her schedule out at – www.johannasings.com
In my ten years of learning and teaching yoga, I’ve witnessed incredible growths in myself and people around me. It’s been a gateway I encourage all to enter and find more depth and companionship to themselves.
Yoga postures and shapes provide a physical shape suspended in time for you to witness what you think, feel, and focus on. Consider the positions, or asanas(traditionally called in the Sanskrit language) different shapes of meditation, each with the added benefit of releasing rigidity and creating space for a more brilliant body to escort your mind for the rest of your life.