I've been trying to avoid saying "Yoga is _____" lately because the more I dive into yoga the less defined it becomes. At first it seemed to be that yoga was postures, then chanting, then union with everything-ness, and the quest for nothingness. Sometimes it seems about really sweet pants. But the farther I go it really seems to come back down to each person's internal discovery of what yoga is for them, at this moment. So I can only really relay what yoga is right now for me.
I've been trying to take off my judge-y pants and not dictate what style or lineage is superior, whether we should practice in a hot room or just a warm one, in the dark or under flourescent lights, at home or in a studio. Ask any person how to do a Chair Pose and you will get a different answer every single time. There's a richness to this hyper-fusion new world we live in filled with 1000 yoga platform websites, instant scheduling, live-streaming this and that, and meditation on demand. You can go to festivals or silent retreats, luxury yoga vacations or quiet temples. There's so much that is screaming your name that once we find a place of solace, we hold onto it and protect it. We try to sell it to our friends and our family, we defend it staunchly and proudly - it is the truth, after all. Our truth. And that's really the fact of the matter, we all find truth in our ways and in our own time. If someone starts yoga at a gym that does high-octane power yoga at 100 degrees, it doesn't somehow make their practice invalid because they don't chant or say namaste at the end of the practice. In a way it isn't up to us anymore to define what yoga is- but I can tell you that it isn't sitting on your high horse judging how someone else finds their path. If we become so concerned about what others are doing, how will we ever really find our our Samadhi? What of our own practices, are they lessened by the differences of others?
This can be applied far reaching off our mats and outside of the classroom, we baulk against change - especially change that threatens our status quo and shakes the ground underneath us. The future is a powerful engine of change that if it doesn't ask us to change, it asks us to be open to possibility. After all, we are human - we will judge, scoff, fart, laugh, demean, yell, cry. But to live our truth, shouldn't we have our eyes open to our actions and reactions? See through our momentary judgements and find the one, the union, the energy of god and life and everything in all of us. We are all made of the same cosmic material - that's why we Om, to come back to ourselves, our everything, to find home in everywhere and in each other.
kyle + sara