Yoga is definitely a journey, not a destination. Yoga is most certainly a healing modality that encompasses a profound philosophy of learning how to re-awaken one’s true Self and thereby live authentically as your Soul walks its dharma or purpose on this earth through the physical body.
Each person’s Yoga journey is different. Yoga is the unifying force and common denominator on the path, but the process on and off the mat for each individual cannot be measured equally or be given a deadline. What you need, at that specific time, will be revealed to you or given to you one practice at a time. Whether it is physical healing or alignment on the day, mental or emotional release or resolution, or spiritual guidance to awakening, your Yoga will guide you accordingly.
The beautiful gift of Yoga is that the work does not just happen on the mat. It weaves its magic through your being off the mat as you move through life. Admittedly, we first meet Yoga through the physical aspect of its asanas or poses, which is only the third limb or step on the 8 fold path of Yoga that leads to a meaningful and purposeful life. Sadly, many practitioners stay stuck on this physical plane and blindly pose through life believing they are closer to enlightenment and sport a false sense of spirituality. Much of the Instagram and Facebook posts feature advanced postures of men and women in skimpy lycra gear posing with ease seemingly impressing followers with the kind of Yoga one should attain. That is not Yoga. That is Ego which is stuck on the physical plane. Bless these practitioners though because that is their Yoga journey…until it shifts to the deeper levels or until the body one day cries out for change, until then, it remains their journey.
Yes, for those who are not Yoga teachers whose lives incorporate an office or a business, their only option is to attend Yoga classes to give them the refuge from stress and the gifts of exercise, quietude and inner healing. Yes, the physical Yoga path is the tool in this frenetic and digital world towards tranquility, but the choice is there. The choice to stay stuck on the physical level where the only goal is to finally achieve that freestanding handstand, or to go deeper, to allow the magic of Yoga to transform and to come to a place of authentic living through complete connection to spirit – to yourself. That place within that’s not concerned about achieving a degree of difficulty of a pose or the posing itself, but moving with the pose to feel…to feel the breathe, to feel the emotion, to feel the fear – the false self, to feel the light and to continue moving with courage on that path when you step off the mat despite the challenges, because that is Yoga.
No -one promised it would be easy. No emotional, mental and spiritual transformation is all ‘candy and cream’ – just like the pain and challenges that arise to recover from physical injury, so it is with the journey of of healing and change. Yoga is that…change – re-awakening ….from the ego self to the authentic Self. That authenticity, that Light, has always been there…..waiting to re-awaken and the journey of Yoga takes us on that re-awakening…if we so choose…..if we want to go deeper. And, if we choose to, our path to that is measured according to our commitment, according to our will, according to our resolve, no matter what the ego does otherwise. The moments of re-awakening are many and continuous and there is no definitive time lapse as to when you’ll ‘get there.’ You never stop learning and growing on the journey, but the results are ever evident. Once you choose to allow the genuine power of Yoga to guide you truthfully in your life, there is no turning back… and….you will not want to go back… because that person is no longer who you are.