Yoga is more than just standing on your head or turning your world upside down when you step onto your mat. It’s more than handstands, backbends and various forms of contortion. While the asanas are always fun and working your breath (pranayama) can be relaxing there’s something more to yoga; something that attracts throngs of people to the age old practice.
It’s the deeper connection this physical practice requires. It’s that additional layer of mental effort that is required of you. For me yoga is about connecting my mind, body and breath so I can control myself and my life that much more. Yoga for me is not finding a way to not flip my shit at a terrible driver in Miami traffic. Or it’s handling a break up with the grace and respect both people deserve. Yoga to me is about having an emotion, thinking first and then reacting. It’s about control and intention. Am I always the picture of perfection in this regard? Certainly not… ask anyone in my life… better yet ask someone who’s broken up with me.
Still, if there’s one thing I’ve found on my mat that I try to take off of it every single day it is a sense of personal responsibility for who I am and how I behave. Moving through the fast paced asanas of the power yoga classes I love has taught me to be better when I step off my mat, roll it up and walk out of the studio into the real world.
It’s easy to hold warrior 3 after enough practice; nailing handstand is a matter of finding the right habits and working with them; there’s no difference between these physical poses and the control it takes to master your emotions and reactions… well, there is one difference – mastering handstand is a hell of a lot easier.
THat’s what makes yoga different… for me at least.