I spent the weekend (Thurs-Monday) at the Yoga Journal Live! San Francisco event, volunteering and taking classes from a handful of well known (I guess) teachers. One of my biggest take-aways from the conference was that hearing all the other teachers talk about what they thought yoga was really helped me figure out what I thought yoga was.
To me, yoga is about awareness, acceptance and stability. The physical practice uses the breath to help guide focus the mind in times of (muscular) effort. Off the mat, yoga practice continues in the form of mindfulness in all situations. Maybe, for example, being aware of ones faults, accepting them, and working toward minimizing consequential harm to oneself and others. Otherwise recognizing that we do not have complete control over the situations that we find ourselves in, and letting the associated negative thoughts come and go. Via the physical practice, yoga teaches us to let go of bias and see situations clearly even through emotional turmoil, like the disappointment of a perceived failure.
I feel grateful that even before I started yoga, I had a grounded personality and was generally able to stay relatively calm in times of distress. But I do think that as I’ve gotten older, and maybe with the help of yoga, I’m even more level headed than before and able to “take it as it comes.” I’ve been able to see and set my priorities more easily and therefore been able to maximize my experiences more fully.
Plus my triceps are so, so strong. SYKE! Just kidding. Wishing everybody a satisfying and successful step forward in their life’s journey today, no matter the size.
(Cross-posted on my yoga tumblr
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