Yoga is a 5,000 year-old discipline, but with a very simple goal: Happiness.
Yoga tells us that in order to realize lasting happiness (ananda), we must discover our true, spiritual nature. The word yoga actually means “to yoke” or “to unite”. It is a chance to connect with the Universe, the Source, or God.
For me, it has been a chance to learn more about myself. I have become more compassionate towards myself, more forgiving. I have become kinder. I have learned to trust myself more, and take risks. I feel stronger in my body, and so stronger in my decisions, my choices and my outlook.
Practicing yoga is an opportunity to learn about yourself. It is a chance to connect with your higher self – the part of you that is divine, wise and perfect. When yoga works, it moves us into our natural state of being. It takes us back to our true self. Our natural state is one of friendliness, openness, cooperation, happiness, not one of stress, tension, anger and competition.
My hope when teaching yoga is that students will engage in learning about themselves – that they will take that time on their mat to learn about their body, to examine their mind, and to get in touch with their spirit. The classes I teach are not about comparison, not about competition. I don’t care if students have taken one yoga class or one hundred classes in their lives. Yoga practice is their time, their chance to be with themselves and their breath, to look inside, to be present, and to stay with the reality of the moment.
I am not guaranteeing that after one yoga class, or maybe even after ten classes, you will notice a shift in yourself. But I promise that if you stick with this practice, if you spend even one hour a week engaged in this practice, you will learn new things about yourself. You will feel more compassion towards yourself, and you will experience more peace.