Back to Basics
Yoga in the modern age can often get us caught up in things like which mat to buy or what colour leggings to go for, that we sometimes forgot what it is really about. Our egos can sneak in out of no where, making us feel ashamed for wobbling in tree, or for not nailing the perfect headstand. If this is you, don’t worry – we’re all human and it happens to all of us. With 2018 already in full swing, we decided to recap the basics of yoga, to remind us all that yoga is not just about the perfect posture.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is series of movements combined with breath, designed to help us cultivate a new sense of body awareness. Basically, it is there to help us get more in touch with the intelligence of our bodies. Our bodies hold within them everything about us; who we are, what we have been through, and our network of endless possibilities. Unfortunately, throughout our lives we rarely take the time to understand our bodies. In school we focus mostly on academia, not really learning the true potential of our own physical form. The aim of yoga is to put you back in touch with your physical experience, opening you up to the range of intelligences that lie within you.
So how does it work?
By moving in time with the breath, we enter a state that is firmly rooted in the present moment. Freed from all our niggling thoughts, we are able to simply exist. Here, we can notice the subtle shifts and changes in our body, and in each moment there are a plethora of possibilities at our disposal.
Yogic philosophy sees the body and the mind as one living entity. Put simply, your thoughts are as external from you as your hand. Coming into close relationship with your body, also means coming into close relationship with your mind. Yoga helps us go beyond the surface level day-to-day thoughts and stresses, to a calm centre that exists within all of us.
Using the breath and movement to exist in the present is a valuable skill. It teaches us how to lengthen the time between an event and our reactions, showing us that we can choose how best to handle any given situation. Yoga does not need to happen only in a class. In fact, it is a common notion that the lessons we learn on the mat are for us to use in our everyday lives.
Mindfulness, awareness and balance are all aspects we associate with a yoga class – but the real yoga happens when these start to permeate out into the rest of our lives. Yoga is when movement and breath come together to help us transcend our usual habits to see from a fresh perspective. So next time you find yourself worrying about how to use latest yoga prop or if your flow is good enough to post on instagram, remember that to be ‘good’ at yoga, you only need your breath and your body.
Big yoga Love xx