This Is Not Yoga

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This is not yoga. 

The postures in isolation, no matter what beautiful backdrop they are given, are not yoga. Neither is a series of postures strung together in sequence. 

This is not yoga. And yet, in the same breath, it can be.   

It’s all yoga, the cohesiveness and the contradiction. It’s all a play of dancing into and out of unity, finding a path to connection and deeper, more purposeful living. It’s all a way of having a human experience and an attempt to navigate it with more grace and intention. We know yoga when we remember this, that nothing is exempt. There is no ownership over a practice that is rooted in an ancient lineage of seekers combing through the depths of their lived experiences, intuiting and adhering to practices and then transcribing the wisdom they uncovered there to be shared and passed down as a blueprint for beginning. There it is, the grace of a path that is always unfolding, that has amassed so many variations and intersections that all hail from an origin point in the human soul that wonders what it is to live a life, to find meaning and purpose, to live artfully and intelligently and to make the most of that life. 

Yoga and all of its various intersecting practices, faiths, wisdom traditions and new age additions, originated as and continues to be a path of seekers. In my own contemplation I feel that we are most balanced when we pay homage to that sacred lineage by learning its history, studying its roots and upholding its classic teachings while also remaining true to its essence and aligning with the Seeker within ourselves. The Seeker is born in connection to the ancient wisdom that has paved the path and in mapping our own internal journeying, following our own renegade hearts in exploration and bearing witness to the unfolding. In this way we are bringing new relevance to the practice while remembering to be the vessel for it rather than trying to possess it in any way, shape or form. 

There is in this, an honest recognition of the beautiful imperfectness of the individual process, the pitfalls and trips, while also acknowledging dedication and steadfast commitment to a perennial learning and devotion to this practice. While we exist in a space of identities and roles, the words we utilize to paint pictures of them create their essence and solidify their expression but ultimately it is this – something communal and continuous that is untethered from the need to assign titles and allows for a collective homecoming to transpire which is what our internal navigation is set to guide for. 

Yoga being all encompassing, ultimately defies any limiting description we might attempt to use to create a framework for it. Word is a way of expressing in our current reality but cannot completely contain something that exists beyond it. With that in mind I will say this as a way to confer my own experiences: this practice is both an art and a science of cultivating a life with more purpose and fulfillment. It is a path of remembering our wholeness, learning to remain connected to the heart of our matter and to live more steadily from that place.  And above all else it is an embracing of the human experience, a way of celebrating what it means to live this life and to ride the waves of this experience with grace and appreciation for the medicine and magic of every moment.