Thursday, January 10, 2008

Defining a Yoga Practice

I am a huge supporter of defining yoga as so much more than the physical practice. I also firmly believe that you do not need 90 contiguous minutes of uninterrupted practice to consider yourself a “practicing yogi” (Thank goodness because otherwise I could count on one hand the number of “real” practices I have had since my children were born!) In fact, that is one reason I love yoga so much. It is a way of living, a philosophy, a spiritual path, it is so much more than exercise for the body. Truly I find I am practicing yoga almost all of the time -- a fact I hadn’t realized until a student asked me. She was curious if I had yoga on my mind all the time. I laughed, thinking, “of course not!” Then, only a moment later, I realized that I really do. I might be thinking about a piece of the physical practice, thinking about a pose I am going to teach or write about. I am just as likely to be considering the meaning of a Yoga Sutra in my life or thinking about whether I am breathing or wondering about ahimsa (nonviolence.) So, if you have narrowly defined your yoga practice, loosen up! A practice can be one pose, Tadasana in the shower, a twist in the car, savasana before bed. It could also be learning more about nonviolence. Learn more about what this fabulous art has to offer and expand your definition.