What is Yoga?

Just a few days ago, we started our first day of Yoga Teacher Training. Honestly, I was so excited + terrified that my eye was twitching from the Wednesday before until the morning we started. It was not fear of content or the students, but something deeper…my body was letting me know with those little (annoying) flutterings of my right eyelid.

WTF?! Even in my ‘honest’ words I could say I was nervous, but tried to act calm and collected, my body was saying YOU ARE BLOODY TERRIFIED!! “You don’t know what you’re doing.” “Why the hell did you ever think you could do this?” Even if I wouldn’t let those thoughts come to the forefront of my mind, I was fearful of failure and letting those around me down, so my body was responding. And as if the Universe knew just what I needed, I came across this “Thoughts are the sensations of the mind, and sensations are the thoughts of the body” in our reading from the week – Judith Laster‘s book Living Your Yoga (she is one of the most epic of all time!!). Just like that, it all slid into place. Since we started Sunday I haven’t had any eye twitching 🙂 I was letting fear exist in my mind and my body was responding, after my mind found peace so did my body.

When we try to deceive ourselves, our body will respond. When we go too hard or aren’t honoring ourselves authentically something will force the body into listening. You are forced to stop and take a good hard look at what’s going on NOW. Then it becomes a matter of choice, are you ready to listen? I often tell my students who are injured or suffering when life has challenged them – it’s the Universe presenting them with an opportunity to look through a different lens. I’m not saying you should have torn your ACL, MCL and Meniscus – but maybe it’s time to see your practice as a beginner once again. Remind yourself why you keep coming back to your mat & what you can learn from this new perspective. Often times these challenges are opportunities that will us into remembering – we are enough, ALWAYS – and to check in with that. THIS is what yoga teaches us. In my case, after a few deep breaths with each twitch, let the fear or anxious feelings subside and there I was back to my (mostly) normal self. Applying my yoga while thinking about my yoga 🙂 #ironicbutnotironic

This week’s theme was based around the question of many lifetimes, “what is yoga?” and in all honesty, these students are truly brilliant. #blessed What they each spoke to resonated with me and I believe it resonated with all of them. It was the feelings behind their unique descriptions that were similar and what made it so powerful.

So, what is yoga? I cannot define it for you, we each have our own personal spin on this. Yoga to me is contentment. It is the feeling of knowing that “I got this” when life is tough, it’s the feeling of remaining calm when sh*t hits the fan, the idea that when I “see red” over something horrific or devastatingly upsetting, I remember I am human and these are my lessons to learn and that eventually the sensations will subside. I come back to my True Self and I find peace in knowing the Universe wants me to flourish. The more I live my life in honor of my light, the Universe will support me, and the easier my yoga comes to me.

Yoga is more than a word that is derived from Sanskrit. It is more than the poses on your mat. It isn’t just a few things, it’s EVERYTHING. Embody this practice into your life and you will become your yoga – in your relationships, in your career, as you do chores – everywhere. YOUR yoga awaits you dearest lights. When faced with life’s challenges, ask yourself if you’re living from love or fear? Catch yourself in the present moment with the chatter of your mind and see if you can make the shifts so you are more often living from that source of grace + compassion and not out of the fear. Rinse. Repeat.

You are always in possession of everything you need, you carry it with you at all times. Please, if anything, remember that you are loved. Our experiences do not define us but they help us find our beautiful True Self that has and will ALWAYS be there. Think of all the things that bring you joy and those moments you feel fulfilled (not like bank account fulfilled, but where you feel ease within) and use those to set the tone for your life…that is your yoga. Namaste.