What is a yoga practice?
Is there a right or wrong way to practice yoga?
There are so many teachers, styles, lineages and books, how do I know which is the correct way?
Yoga is the union of mind, body and spirit. Asana is the union of strength, flexibility, balance and breath. Yoga is not only a tool to move the body, but to release stress, calm an overactive mind and gain perspective on life.
Yoga for me is more than just a “work out” – It is a way of life founded on a firm commitment to the moral and ethical precepts of Yamas and Niyamas both on and off the mat. Being strong in yoga is not just about a powerful handstand or a deep backbend for me, instead I see yoga as a daily ritual where people tune in deeply to their spiritual centre and experience the peace of the Eternal Divine.
The best answer I have for you is PRACTICE! Yoga means something different to each and every person. We all arrive on our mat with a different goal, motivation, emotional state, spiritual journey, struggle and need, plus all of that changes each day. Unrolling your mat and having a seat is the first step for many people towards healing. Some of us aren’t even sure what we are seeking yet! Yes there are many styles and teachings of yoga. Will some people say a certain way of practicing is “wrong”? Yes, I have seen some people claiming certain styles of yoga to not be “true yoga”. But in my experience with my own practice, I do what works for me. Everyone’s practice is their own and this practice changes and evolves to fit our lives and our needs. For me, I need a very physical practice in order to quieten my mind and find space. Over the years, my connection to my breath has grown, I find peace and calmness just by closing my eyes, breathing and moving from posture to posture. My mat truly has become a sanctuary for me and that is where I find my place of connection, light, love and peace which is something we all seek in our practice.
Like I said before, yoga is different to each student. We all have our own individualized yoga practice even if we do not have a home practice but instead attend group classes. We may be doing the same sequence as 20 other people but I guarantee the experience is different. Don’t avoid a certain yoga practice just because someone else feels it isn’t “correct”. You are your person, find your path that works best for you and enjoy the beautiful journey. Find your yoga wherever you can. We all live very busy, different lives but take the time to carve out what you can.