What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice dating back over 5000 years. The word Yoga translates as “to yoke” or union and that is essentially the core of the practice. To unify the mind, body and our soul or “purpose/sense of belonging” so that we may find “enlightenment” or peace and utter contentment in how things are right now, just as they are.
When we think of Yoga we often think of the physical poses and postures but these are in fact such a small part of the practice making up just one of 8 “limbs” of yoga. The physical practices and poses are called asana and their main purpose was to keep the body supple, limber, strong and free of tension in order to free tensions of the mind and be able to sit for long periods of time in meditation. While we may not practice to sit for hours in meditation anymore its a lovely way to think of Yoga Asana as making you physically and mentally fit to make us more resilient and less effected by the stresses of our day to day modern lives so we find it easier to let things that make us tense go and ultimately become happier and more free.
We are nature, and yet sometimes we forget. Through the practice of yoga, we remember how to speak the natural and subtle languages of the body and breath.
We live in a world alien to our biology. We hold second brains in our hands through our devices. We are permanently in a state of fight or flight. We clad our feet in hard-wearing shoes. We live in manipulated conditions of heat, air-con, and blue light. We are overstimulated and undernourished—no wonder the world is straining under spikes in poor mental wellbeing and physical health.
We forgot our primal instinct. We forgot how to feel. When we allow ourselves to return to our natural state of being we find a sense of renewal, connection, clarity, energy, and vibrancy. Our gut health improves, our sleep patterns reset, and we feel happier. Everything makes sense again.