Someone once asked me, “why yoga? What is so special and unique about it?”
Honestly, I did not know how to respond. I didn’t know how to describe exactly what it was and how it felt. Sometimes words are so often insufficient, that I could not capture the greatest sensations that often arise on the mat.
That is when I began thinking more about it. I wondered, how I could put into words what yoga means. I would ask myself, “how can I describe how it feels?” “How would I share the feeling through expression, without any practice?”
Yoga is not something that can be explained, rather it is showing– it is a feeling.
Then a thought came to mind, while it is possible to become stronger and more flexible, and yes, being healthier is definitely a plus. The realization that yoga isn’t just physical exercise, it is also mental.
A lot of times people assume that yoga is simply putting your leg behind your head– which perhaps a lot of yogis (a term for yoga enthusiasts), are flexible enough where they can do so– however, being able to put your leg(s) behind your head is not the core reason for yoga.
Yoga is about opening your mind, body, and soul–it is allowing yourself to be free and connecting with oneself.
The mat is a sacred landing space. If the mat could talk, I believe it would say “Hello, I am the doorway to your conscious and true self, shall we explore and grow together?”
As humans, we so often forget to slow down in life, we forget to breathe! Most of us don’t really know how we feel, mostly because we cannot feel our bodies. No one takes the time to understand where our aches and tingles come from. We do not know what is tight, what is open, what may be asymmetrical and what might be even. We do not know what feels good and what hurts.
Truth is, there were moments where I didn’t know my own strength, where I second guessed my ability to do such movements. And every single moment that I ‘found’ a new part of my body, it felt as if I found a new part of my soul. Sounding a bit too spiritual?
Perhaps it is, but maybe it is something that will resonate with you. Maybe this is the moment where you roll out a yoga mat, have a little stretch, maybe flow through some sun salutations and afterward, see how you really feel.
One thing I have learned in my constant practice of yoga is that people may come to their mats for their bodies, but they stay for their minds.
And trust me when I say that it really isn’t something you can naturally put into words because it is more than that, it is a feeling. And that is what makes it so damn powerful.
Perhaps the next time someone asks you, “why Yoga?” you will have a clearer answer. Or maybe you would like to take some time and think about why it is you enjoy yoga.