What is Yoga?!

“Yoga is primarily a practice intended to make someone wiser, more able to understand things than they were before”.

Ask 10 people, and you will get 10 different answers. Conviction, exercise, diet, lifestyle, immersion; yoga has a different meaning to everyone.

However, yoga entails constant development. Traditionally, yoga is a lifestyle, rather than a physical practise. It requires openness, curiousness, exploration, acceptance and patience. Yoga does not know any age, gender, profession, or cultural background. Yoga is for everyone.

"Yoga means union"

Yoga, as I was thought in my teacher training is much like written in my description of the Yamas and Niyamas, following the same believes and viewpoints, following my understanding of ‘The Heart of Yoga’, book report.

One day, I decided I wanted to do a Teacher Training. I went to Costa Rica, excited to be surrounded by beautiful people with the same interests, eat healthy, learn about the human body and develop my knowledge of yogic history, but most of all; be practising asana all day!

Wrong! Very wrong!

Yes, I was surrounded by beautiful people with the same interest, eating healthy and studying anatomy and history, but it wasn’t as easy and fun as that sounds.

Due to my lack of knowledge, I got a lot of mixed signals and was very confused about the whole concept. Described was the idea of being kind to ourselves, and to one another. To listen to our body and recognise when we need to take a break. To be truthful, sincere, show determination, and at the same time be discreet, selfless. To be with and live yoga is such a beautiful principle, but to live up to the traditional standards, is damn hard!  

Once I finished my teacher training, I desperately needed to take distance to order my thoughts, impressions, and feelings. It took time to digest this load of overwhelming information. I lost my passion for practising asana, and gave up on the idea of teaching yoga for about 9 months. I lost my interest and felt angry with myself for spending time, money and energy on something I did not even want to be part of anymore.

“Everything happens for a reason, and if the outcome is not what you expected, it is meant to be a learning point.”

That is also yoga. No blame-games and no finger-pointing.

I believe I have found back the desire to develop, the urge to learn and help others with that what I love so much. However, I am approaching yoga my way. Just as you should. Just as many others do.

To me this means taking care of myself the way I feel good about and the way I can make progress gradually, while serving others. I set goals, but I am flexible. I am forgiving, but realistic. And when something does not sit well, I search for alternatives, move on, and let go. All of this serves me more than I could ever imagine in my asana practise, as well as day-to-day life.
The better I feel in my own skin, the better I can serve others, and this, I believe, applies to everyone.

“Yoga is you; content, serene, open and thriving”.

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