The practice of yoga means a great many things to a great many people. To me, it means a practice of connection to myself and ultimately a larger connection to the world.
According to ancient yoga philosophy, Hatha yoga can be a complete journey to wholeness. We can develop and connect to our physical well-being through asana and pranayama, mental clarity through concentration, meditation and spiritual illumination. Sometimes those pursuits of wellness and spiritual connection can be sidetracked by the idea that yoga is a function of beauty and not the function of connection and spirituality.
The quest for the idealized body and standard of beauty can pull us out of our practice and make yoga about something superficial and external. Yoga is all about the internal. It is important to remember that your body is a manifestation of the divine energy of humanity. You do not need to come to the yoga mat to fix yourself. You come to your practice to get to know yourself. Getting to know yourself is very important in an invalidating world designed to keep you distracted with your dissatisfaction.
The definition of Hatha in itself is sun and moon; the complete cycle of life: "ha" means “sun,” and "tha" means “moon.” Yoga is about finding the balance and connection between ourselves and world.
Hatha yoga practices strive to create harmony in body and mind by balancing both sides of the spectrum – active and passive, male and female, sun and the moon. When we connect with that inner harmony, we can start to see the difference between peace and distraction, truth and untruth. We begin the process of connecting with our highest self. Our highest self tells us love is what we seek.
How do we connect with our highest self?
Through spiritual practices like gratitude and service. Here is the challenge if you choose to accept it. Let’s explore our consciousness and do things to expand our awareness and our enjoyment of life:
- Create a regular practice every day. Start with the gift of 10 minutes and grow from there.
- Mix it up! Do yoga outside or in nonconventional spaces
- Design, download or create a gratitude journal. Take pen to paper and write down three things you are grateful for every single day in this month starting today.
- Do something that scares you; like speak publicly, ride a skateboard, or make a new friend.
- Share your stories to inspire others; this is your connection to your practice and the world.
- Self-care is your right and makes you a more connected and effective person so practice taking time for you.
Enjoy exploring what makes you, YOU! See you on the yoga mat!