Celebrating Why I Love Yoga – on International Yoga Day
As I write this, I am reminiscing about the yoga class I was in just earlier and a wave of beautiful inner peace floods my cells. There’s the obvious reasons why I adore yoga – I feel my practice in the aliveness of every cell of my body, and it brings me back to the present. But, today, I was lying in my safe space of savasana, and a thought popped into my head:
“I wish I could bottle this feeling of pure, centred joy and wisdom,
and put it into words as to how to access this place.”
So, indeed, I can try – and I’m going to tell you why I love yoga on this International Yoga celebration day – but I know that it’s a space perhaps only accessible by you because this place – this home – is within; not without. Please keep that in mind as you read; and yet, know there is nothing to do because it is already within!
Remembering The Inner Peace Within
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll probably hear me talk about the ’power of thought’ quite a bit. I am a big believer that our ‘thought’ creates our reality – and not in a forcing ‘positive thinking’ kind of way, but on a deeper level of understanding that our thoughts are just there, sitting on top of our clarity – which we can access at any time, just by being conscious of our thinking process. Because of this, I also believe that all of the time, this ‘safe space’ I experienced in ‘savasana’ is already within us. So – you could argue that we don’t even need yoga to fulfil that. However – my love of the practice of yoga goes deeper than that. Yoga is in my heart. I enjoy the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of yoga and they resonate with my whole being. So, on this day, as I revel in the blissful feeling, I know that that peaceful feeling is within me anyway, but I still enjoy the practice because it’s something I love – and it serves as a kind reminder to myself that the inner peace is just that: an inside-out job! I follow the nice feeling.
Finding Space for Ourselves
Before today’s practice, I had been living in the illusion that I was ‘disconnected.’ I call this an illusion because it is a trick of the mind. We are always connected – something which the ritual of saying ‘Namaste’ represents. Just as I write this, it strikes me that some people might say ‘Namaste’ and not know what it means, and even think it is just something you say at the end of a yoga class – which is quite funny! Namaste means ‘we are one, we are connected.’ But, again, it wasn’t saying this at the end of class that reminded me of that – it was feeling it in the spaciousness. You see, in the space we make for ourselves to drop out of our heads and into our hearts (something that yoga often provides for me because I love it – did I mention that?!), is where we find clarity. When we are in the space of allowing our thinking to calm, we begin to see the underlying truth.
So, before I walked into yoga, I was under the illusion that I was separate, having watched as a group of friends had all been walking around hugging, holding hands and giggling together – in that moment, I had felt disconnected and invisible. Now, it’s not the yoga that changed that separateness – though, being around people who were like myself, enjoying the yoga that connected us might have appeared to have settled my thinking because I resonated with others and wasn’t experiencing ‘separate’ thinking anymore! It wasn’t the yoga that made me realise I wasn’t separate. It was the space in my thinking that all of a sudden allowed me to gain an insight which literally popped into my head like an email in an inbox during savasana! By the way – don’t believe anyone who tells you to ‘get rid of your thoughts in meditation: just not happening! The insight, by the way, was about how I saw connection.
Insights into Feeling Connected
I realised that I had seen connection as the hand holding, the intense conversations and cuddling. But, is this really the connection I wanted? I am an independent person – I love cuddles, and deep conversations, but in that moment, I had actually preferred to be alone because I had a busy mind and I felt lost in it! That was in that moment. I also experienced the hand holding, the intense, cuddly conversations, but this day, I didn’t! And that is ok. It didn’t mean I was on the side lines; I was still connecting to myself and perhaps I just didn’t need that kind of connection right then. Perhaps they did. Perhaps I needed space. Perhaps they didn’t. I talk about ‘they’ as if there is still some sort of separation, though – so this is perhaps even still coming from the illusion in my mind of a separateness. Because, the truth is, we are always connected. Even in the total absence of physical contact, or even in the complete and utter silence. The universe is love. The universe is one. We are just a human embodiment of the illusion of separate beings, working our way through life in thought, which can make us feel like we are disconnected at times.
Anyhow, without going too off topic, that was the insight that arrived on my mat! I just want to reiterate that this insight did not come from yoga, but from within me. However, had the physical human me – living a physical, human experience of life – not gone to yoga, I might have flooded my time with working, instead of space. Perhaps, then, my insight might not have arrived in the same way because I was ‘in my head’ instead of in my body. Or perhaps not. It arrived as it arrived. Yoga or no yoga. There’s no analysis needed – it is what it is.
And so, I had a really beautiful time in a beautiful class – and that, my loves, is why I love yoga: the feeling I experience in the beautiful unfolding of wisdom, in the safe space of peace within myself, accessed through connecting to my heart. Enjoy your practice.
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