We've all heard it before: yoga is NOT about the pose. If this is true, why do we work so hard on our asana, or physical practice? If this is true, why do we see so many posts and videos of yoga poses (yes, myself included)? There are a multitude of answers to these questions, but I'll share mine.
Practicing yoga has become part of my daily routine. This does not mean that I have a full 90-minute practice every single day. I do, however, aim to practice as often as possible. Some days I only have time for a 'quickie' practice. Other days, when time is ample, my practices are luxurious. Yoga is my happy place. It's where I can connect breath to movement, and be both creative and playful. Through asana, I begin to notice where I'm stuck -- not only physically, but mentally too. The feelings of "I can't" and "I don't like this" show up during my practices. But the moments of clarity also come. The moments where I feel I've created a little extra space in my body, breath and mind reveal themselves as new possibilities. Add on some sweat, lots of challenge and a pure euphoric energy...and voilà, the reasons I keep coming back to my mat.
A fellow yoga teacher once chastised yoga practitioners for taking photos of themselves in poses. She said, "Yoga is not meant to be shown. It's meant to be felt." I agree with the latter half of her argument, but the former irks me a bit. Can't it be both seen and felt? Yoga has a physical element - asana is one of the eight limbs of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Without seeing poses, how are we to learn proper alignment? I am inspired by photos, articles and videos on yoga poses. I am constantly striving to learn more to propel my own practice forward, and also to share with my students.
I post photos and videos of my practice because I want to share my yoga journey. My poses are not perfect. My flows are not always smooth. But everything is authentic. I share what I'm working on: my small victories, and yes, my failures too. My hope is that I'll inspire others to try something new, to be playful, to "stay in the work," to let themselves be seen for exactly who they are.
So, yoga is about MORE than just the pose, but it's the pose that will help you discover MORE about yourself than you anticipated.