After completing my first personal “40-Day Yoga Challenge” (that is practicing yoga postures everyday for 40 consecutive days) — I realized that Yoga isn’t a challenge. Yoga is a blessing. Yoga is a lifestyle.
People that find yoga in this lifetime don’t go to their yoga mats because they are forced to, or because they have to. People that have found yoga in this lifetime go to their yoga mats because they are blessed to.
After putting a label on my own daily yoga practice and making it another line on my daily to-do-list it did become a challenge. How will I fit it in? I can’t do this or that — I have to practice yoga postures and fulfill my challenge today. In a time that seems ever changing, ever expanding, influencing, stimulating, cultivating, and moving it’s a blessing to have the space to center on the yoga mat. It’s a blessing to have 75 minutes, or even 5 minutes to reconvene, shut it off, and find myself again.
Over the past 6+ years yoga has become my partner and my path. I first came into the practice via asana (yoga postures) looking for a way to exercise and I heard it was good for stress levels too…
Along the way, I found my breath, my reach, my voice, my life, myself, and my soul. I found comfort in the familiar place of being home, the true self. I shed relationships, habits, and jobs that were not serving me along the way.
And I learned that yoga is not just asana. Yoga is not just asana.
We can find yoga everywhere.
In every act of
non attachment (Aparigraha)
spiritual study (Svadhyaya),
devotion to a higher power (Isvara-pranidhana),
mindful breathing (Pranayama),
turning inward (Pratyahara),
union of the self with the object of meditation (Samadhi)
and even in the act of postures (Asana) we find yoga.
It never feels like I have to practice yoga. But rather it feels like I am blessed to have found yoga. Breathe yoga. And be yogic. It isn’t a challenge, it’s a lifestyle — a lifestyle that I am eternally grateful to live.