The thing, which I like most about yoga, is that it is always there.
Doesn’t matter for how long you have abandoned the mat, the practice or the class, the yoga will always welcome you with open arms, without judgments or complaints.
It’s like coming back to a familiar place; it’s like coming home.
It has been one month now since I’ve not in Israel. I started my journey-trip-vacation in Greece, where I took Thai massage training.
I felt like I needed to add some therapeutic elements to my classes, to my teaching and, in general, to my life.
The ability to make someone feel better and even heal by touch, this exchanging of energies, connection to the other on a deeper level seems quite amazing to me! I’ve heard about the training from Ariel, a good friend and a real yogi, looked at the website, felt this sensation of connection and this is what feels right and decided to go for it. As things tend to move in a different flow while traveling and take you to new and different experiences I met some of the founders of the conference who offered me to write this blog. Clearly I jumped on this opportunity and agreed right away. I’ve always dreamed about being a travel author/journalist, who sits in cafés, inspired by the local scenery, and practices yoga. Seems like a perfect match!
Anyways, this blog is meant to be a stage, a place where I can expose my thoughts and ideas, as well as share my love for yoga, freedom and love via words.
It was important to me to start this blog by transferring the message of yoga that I believe and follow.
With every journey I discover more and more how popular yoga has become and how much further away from its original roots it has traveled. For example, today I saw in a health magazine that there is a new class in the States which is intended for practitioners and their dogs, further more, i saw some some adds about yoga championships. How about that? Who can perform the asana better? More precisely? More perfect? Is that the essence of yoga? And if so, what makes yoga different from other sports like acrobatics or gymnastics?
I admit, like most practitioners I was initially drawn to the physical aspect of practice. I remember the first class. It was like nothing else that I did. I thought that as a former competitive swimmer and a person that has always played one sport or another: I’m in a good shape. Suddenly, all of the poses, transitions and this language, WOW!! Especially in the final relaxation, in shavasana I felt my spirit detached from my body and that stillness, quietness is so amazing.
That class shook me, challenged me and made me curious in such a way that I had to explore and come back for more.
It continues to take me time to find this peace and stillness, regardless of the physical dynamic. This brings me back to my message which I opened this blog with, about what is yoga to me. Everything is YOGA and yoga is EVERYTHING.
It is the union, the connection and the full presence. Yoga is the ability to observe and to be, without needing to identify to the experience. Yoga is in washing the dishes, cleaning the floor, walking, running, while eating; yoga is under the water and also on the mat. But it is far from being simply a physical practice. It is the practice of the body, mind and soul. It is the connection they share and the challenge to find balance between them. How can we find stillness in the poses? How can we find calmness in our movements? How can we find peace in every action?
So we have this great useful tool, which is the mat, and it is our lab. Our lab to be, to observe, to try, to mistake, to fall down, to blossom, to gain self-confidence, to get to know ourselves better and to be compassionate toward our bodies, ourselves and hopefully toward others as well. Maybe we are to back away from our familiar mat, to explore other tools and, eventually, to come back home. Because it doesn’t matter for how long you have walked away from your mat, the yoga is always there and will continue to welcome you with open arms, whether you are 5, 15, 30, 50 or 70 years old, whether you are European, American, Australian or African. The yoga is the union, the awareness and the ability of us all to be more sensitive, compassionate and loving beings.
I will finish with a quote by the great yogi B.K.S Iyengar from Light on Life: “The yogic journey leads our way from our bodysheath toward the central or our existence – the soul. The goal is to unite the different layers so that our inner divines will shine out like beyond a clear glass..”
photos by Wari Om