The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. It is the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit through practice of physical postures and poses. The practice commonly referred to as “yoga” can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word Asana. Asana is only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga based on the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali. The remaining “limbs” are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity. In the West, however, the words asana and yoga are often used interchangeably.
Developing your “yoga practice” means your individual experience with yoga as it develops over time. Your practice is always evolving and changing, so it never gets boring. Although the poses themselves do not change, your relationship to them will. Anyone can start a yoga practice, even if you don’t feel like you are very flexible or very strong. These things will develop over time. The union of yoga takes place in the development of the practice there is no final destination. It encourages the noncompetitive spirit. One of the most difficult, but ultimately most liberating things about yoga is letting go of the ego and being present in the moment. Forgetting about the pressure of the future or the agony of the past. Everyone is just doing their best on any given day.
Wandergirl’s Source of Balance
Yoga is my practice to unite my mind, body and spirit. Especially in times of change it is what I turn to. I place my practice above all else. If I feel overwhelmed, confused or tired, I step away and turn to my practice. I believe it is my source for balance, which gives me mental space so I can make better decisions. A balanced and centered mind gives me clarity that allows me to see the next steps I need to take in a new direction. Ultimately my commitment to my practice allows me to stay one step removed from the process of change and makes me enjoy the ride. There are times were I find myself in chaos, disconnected and unbalanced, times where I swing by balance on a good day. However, I don’t stay there, I found ways to unwind first and then approach the issue step by step, day by day and doing the best I can. There is no goal of perfection. It is in the Journey not the destination.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you dreamed yourself to be!”
from Yoga Sutras by Patanjali