Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yoga is not

Why is there still this perception (in Texas, anyway) that yoga is all about "doing nothing" (i.e. meditation), "just a bunch of stretches and stuff", that it's a girl-thing, or that it's too spritualized?

Yoga varies as broadly as the Christian denominations (Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, etc.). You have Kundalini, Anasara, Forrest, Bikram, Ashtanga, Acro, Kriya, Iyengar, PY(planet yoga method)... I could go on and on. Then, you have the other varieties within that: Flow or Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Meditation, Therapeutic, athletic, RocknRoll ("shake your asana")... ok, that last one... yep, that's the latest thing.. yoga to a DJ. (Only in the US, I imagine). 

My first yoga class... I was late, couldn't understand what the instructor was saying (seemed like every pose had an 'asana' sound to it and it all sounded the same!), and because the instructor didn't look around at what the class was doing, I had no idea if I was doing it right or not (and I was so distracted, busy looking around, comparing...). Then, once I realized that we had to lay still in the end, I couldn't stop fidgeting and gave up and left in the middle. I'm sure I made plenty of key-rattling, mat rolling up-kind-of racket on my way out.  For some reason, though, I kept coming back and gradually I let myself stay longer and longer until one day, savasana (the final relaxation pose) was over... too soon! I slipped into a meditative dream like state that I can't begin to explain... you just have to experience it. 

Leeann's Yoga Therapy Class
Needless to say, yoga's evolved for me and morphed into much more than "stretches & stuff" or conquering new cool poses. So, yes, yoga is everything above... movement, stretching, breathing, sitting, listening... and whether I practice to music by Prince, Michael Franti, MC Yogi or Ray Lamontange, or in silence, it doesn't matter because what yoga does for my mind and body is beyond words, it just must be experienced. If you can't find your sweet spot with one style or teacher, try another or another... why not? What do you have to lose? In my opinion, you only have so much to gain.... 

No comments:

Post a Comment