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What is yoga?

People often think yoga is about stretching and they think you have to be super flexible to do yoga. But for me yoga is the opposite, it’s so much more than that. In fact I think yoga really serves a great purpose particularly for those more bound types.  Personally though yoga helps me to tune in with myself. In one way or another, I have to figure out whether I need the stretch today or whether I need the strength. I talk about this again and again, but for me it’s the dualistic nature which we’ve got to try and bring into balance. We often do the things which precisely bring us further from balance by doing the “wrong” kind or style of yoga, for us! There are a lot of highly powered people out there, bankers, and city boys and girls, who already are under so much pressure and are so busy with work and their social life; that they then choose to do power/ rocket or hot yoga. Clearly they are the last to need this heat and energy, seeing their life is already filled with semi aggressive, go get it kind of people in the city. But I don’t agree with just doing yin yoga either, although this is probably more suited for the really busy types! There has to be some kind of balance between the two. And I believe this balance can only be restored when we truly listen to our bodies. I follow a lot of amazing yogis and yogini’s out there in the world of social media and I sometimes wonder or even question, if what they do is real yoga? Because, although it is rather beautiful to watch these girls and boys fold themselves into 2 or balance on 1 finger in a headstand, to me, it looks like they are just doing incredible acrobatics. And yes like I already said, It is amazing to watch, but it is not something I should or you should or we should- aspire to. And I do have to remind myself of that daily, because I am just that kind of girl who loves to challenge herself and the kind that can fall into a state of awe, with these incredible creatures!!

The reason why we shouldn’t aspire to be like these gods and goddesses is mainly because we know it will at the very least, lead to overstretched tissues and at the worsted snapped tendons or ligaments OR even worse, the dreaded slipped disc. Sure if you were born in a circus kind of family and your body is really strong then go for it, but in general for real people like you and I, I would not recommend trying to bend yourself that way. I have tried and I have failed. Whenever my personality gets in the way I will end up hurting my body and for someone who needs her body to work in order to work, injuries are not really an option right now. 

Your body may well at some point become flexible enough to reach half of those poses, but often at the expense of other vital parts in the body. You only need to look at top athletes and dancers to realise that more often than not their body burns-out at too young an age, due to the amount of stress that body is put through. 

I love doing physical work, as long as my body functions I will be working it, but that’s key for me, it needs to work and i would like it to serve me for a very long time. I promised my daughters I would do my very best to turn very old, something my mum never gave me, she always said she would die in her sixties and she most definitely kept her promise on that one. No I will try my best to listen to my body and answer it with what it is calling for. Hopefully I will live a very long and very loving life with plenty of yoga and dancing until I’m 100!!! Thats the aim anyway, we will see what the universe thinks of that…

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”  ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

N A M A S T E (=the spirit in me bows to the spirit in you)

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