What is it?Remember?….
I’ll give you a hint.It’s two things:
1.A state of being in which one experiences union or oneness with all that is.
2.The method or action that one takes in order to achieve that state of being.
Simple and yet complex, right?
So now we’re going to answer this question:“How to do yoga?"
We have to answer it from the point of view of our two definitions of what yoga is.
1.When we consider Yoga as a state of being, then we can say that we can’t DO yoga.You can’t DO a state of being.
2.When we consider Yoga as a method, we can also say that we can’t DO yoga.You can’t DO a method.You can practice a method, you can follow a method, you can apply a method.But you can’t DO a method.
So, our big answer is, that in any case, we can’t DO yoga.
Alright, so I’m being technical and literal and picky and whatnot.But, what I’m saying is not untrue!You can’t DO yoga
I know, I know, you wanted info about how to put your body into different poses.I have that for you in different articles, photos and videos (and more to come once I shed my pregnancy weight).Don’t you worry about that.But, before you put yourself in to funny shapes, it’s important (it’s important to me in any case) that you know more about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.Don’t you think?
But since we’re on the subject, let’s DO talk about the poses a bit.Why poses?Why THESE poses?And what can they do for me?
In Sanskrit, Yoga Poses are called Yoga Asanas.
Asana=pose It actually means Seat.
We’re moving into a topic that I can sort of explain and sort of not explain.
I call my yoga school Divine Alchemy Yoga School because the name reflects the notion of something magical beyond ourselves.Divine is clearly greater than we are and Alchemy is the process of turning lead into gold, which is magical.
This is the part about Yoga Asana that is difficult to explain.When we practice Yoga Asana, we feel, notice, experience magic.
Something about ourselves changes.This is the process of moving into the state of yoga, or Union with the whole of life.
We notice quickly how we feel more ourselves, more connected, more open, stronger, more courageous, more loving, greater than we were before.
There is something very magical and very potent in these Yoga Asanas.Now what and why and how?That’s the magical part.It’s not something that can really be explained.Who knows?Yes, we can technically talk about physical aspects like endorphins, that natural high, for example.But the experience of the state of yoga is much more powerful and long lasting than a fleeting moment of natural high.
We can talk about feeling better in our bodies, less joint pain, greater flexibility, more strength and stamina.Yes, again those are great qualities to experience, but we experience even MORE than THAT!
We can talk about experience inner peace and harmony, less stress and tension.But I repeat, that when we practice Yoga Asana regularly, we also experience more than that.
Through Yoga Asana, we have a potent and efficient method (the most potent and efficient method that I know of or have experienced) for achieving a state in which we are filled with the wholeness and greatness and power of all of Life. We feel ALIVE in every sense of the word.We become the person that we were truly meant to be.We live fully our authentic selves.We know who we really are—a powerful being that is connected with all of humanity and all of life.That’s truly magical, no?
Having said all of this, there is a part of DOING in yoga.
There is a saying, “Don’t DO yoga, let yoga do you."
Here is the action, the DO part:
We must willingly put ourselves into a state of observation and non-resistance to the process.
This means that we take a back seat to the method in order for the state of yoga to happen.
We must ALLOW and OBSERVE, allow and observe, allow and observe.
It’s like we are all at the same time the laboratory, the scientist, AND the experiment itself.
Put yourself into funny body poses and observe what happens.That’s pretty much it.
(I do have to say that Yoga Asana is SO powerful that even if we are not in a state of awareness, if we don’t even really know what we’re doing, we just do it just because the yoga will transform us in some way.It will take longer and the road will be more difficult, but it does happen.When we are aware, however, and we do make the effort to allow and observe, the magic happens much more quickly and with so much more power.So, why not make the decision to be aware?)
In my opinion, Yoga Asana is the easiest way to affect change in your life.That’s a big statement to make, but I truly believe it.How many other methods can you name in which all you have to do is put your body into funny poses, let some kind of alchemical process take place and watch what happens?
So many people I know have been able to make GREAT changes in their lives by actively changing nothing else except practicing yoga regularly.My first serious yoga teacher, for example, was a heavy smoker when she started practicing yoga.She made no effort to quit smoking.But by practicing yoga regularly, she simply no longer felt the need or desire to smoke.
The same goes for eating habits.You don’t have to quit eating meat in order to practice yoga.You don’t even really need to make the effort to quit eating meat.But it’s very likely that by practicing Yoga Asana regularly, you may find that you really don’t want to eat meat.You may find that you are naturally attracted to better quality food.
These are just two examples and just two possibilities, but in my own personal experience and having been a teacher for quite a while, I have observed in myself and in my yoga friends and students, that regular practice facilitates great changes in one’s life.
Notice that I talk about regular practice.What do I mean by regular practice?
First, this is what I DON’T mean:I don’t mean regularly practicing once a week.That’s not a practice.That’s light, and I mean very light, exercise.
Is it better than nothing?Of course it’s better than nothing.Of course it is!And if you’ve never practiced yoga before, it’s your first step towards a real regular practice.
It’s just that I want to make sure that you understand that this super magic that I’ve been going on about is less likely to happen if your practice is something I could call “Yoga Light."
My personal and professional experience shows me that a practice of four times a week is the minimum that it takes for yoga to do it’s magic on you.It’s so worth it.Trust me.
The DO part of yoga is making the effort to take the time, make the space, willingly practicing theasanas and observing the effects and allowing change to take place.
There’s really nothing else to DO.
The rest of it just happens.
So with this perspective in mind, this is how you do yoga.
I invite you to do a lot of yoga.Do a lot of it.
Mira Jamadi Formatrice de Vinyasa Yoga