What does Yoga mean to you? The wonderful variety of answers that come from this question show just how different yoga can be for each individual experiencing and exploring it. For some, it is a physical practice that allows them to stretch and strengthen (as well as gives them an hour of peace and quiet). For others Yoga can be a mindful practice that has the power to provide life lessons along the way… Suspend whatever it is that you consider it to be for a moment and consider the following.
Yoga can be a microscopic experience of everything it is to be human. When you are moving into poses on the mat, you may face challenges, frustrations, limitations, jealousy of others ease and a temptation to avoid what is uncomfortable. However, it provides the opportunity to practice patience, acceptance, self-compassion, non-judgment of others, courage and skill, allowing you to journey through a process of learning, development, and personal and physical growth.
By consciously engaging with your practice, it may offer you the chance to experience these beneficial emotional responses that you may not be able to cultivate so easily in your daily lives. If you can experience these beneficial character traits on a yoga mat, your mind may create new routes, faster routes to these thoughts in the macroscopic maze of life.
The asanas (postures) are a brilliant route to access these experiences; They are in essence a transformational tool but only a tool for transformation. The transformation of the pose does not necessarily mean transformation and development of the individual. In order for the individual to transform and develop they must consciously connect these life lessons to the practice.