There are as many different views on what Yoga is as there are practitioners, teachers and even among those who have never practised Yoga. So all I can really tell you is what Yoga means to me…..
My understanding of Yoga is as an ancient Art and Science of successful living. For me, it is a journey of self-discovery that comes with a map and a toolkit to help me live the most successful life I can live – Body, Mind & Spirit. It is constantly evolving as people the world over engage with it. Therefore it cannot be boxed under ‘physical exercise’ or ‘breathing techniques’ or any other label. It is far too vast for that.
In fact, Asana (physical postures – the shapes we make) are one tiny, tiny, fraction of the whole that is Yoga. However, this fraction is most often the ‘in-door’ for many of us Westerners who come to Yoga hoping for a cure from apparently physical complaints. Happily, along the way, we discover the myriad benefits that Yoga has to offer in all spheres of life. And because it is so vast and accommodating, there is truly ‘something for everyone’.
So if you’re interested in finding out what Yoga can bring to your life, I strongly encourage you to follow that voice and give it a go. As with all practices, the teachers you encounter on your journey can make all the difference so it is worth checking your teacher’s qualifications and experience before participating in any class (private or group). After that, it’s a case of connection. If you find a meaningful connection with a teacher who can guide you safely into a Yoga practice (and your teacher may change as your needs change), then you are far more likely to reap the benefits of what may turn out to be a very rewarding, life-long journey of self-discovery.