This week on the Meadowlark Instagram we were asked to consider why we do yoga.
Why do I Yoga? #WhyIYoga – this was a tricky one. I mean ultimately this blog is dedicated to answering that question and will probably never quite get there. Yet in my instagram I’m trying to do it in one #whyiyoga post.
So let’s be succinct and try to distil the following:
- Physical wellness
- Mental health
- Asana attainment
Most of us will have first stepped on to a mat to try to address one of the above categories and I’m pretty sure I initially started yoga to try and tackle them all. But what about 12 years on from my first class? Do I still address all of these categories in my daily practice? The simple answer is, yes but I try not to. The more I practice the more I find that I am actually endeavouring to move away from actively seeking any tangible gains from my practice.
“Yogas Cittas Vritti Nirodhah” Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1.2). That is #whyiyoga
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? The achievement of goals or the stillness of the mind? What must I achieve in order to achieve stillness of mind? Or with stillness of mind, what will I achieve?
I suppose what I am trying to say is when I first started practising I truly believed that I must achieve my yoga-goals (that balance, that bind, that focus) in order to achieve the end state of yoga. It has been a welcome revelation to learn that I need only practice for the sake of practice itself (literally step on the mat!) and the Yoga, the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind will come naturally.
And that is all that yoga is.
And while that is so seemingly trivial it also opens up a whole new world of being. Without all of the nervous chitter chatter a space opens up in the mind for something quite magical that surpasses any goal you could possibly hope to achieve… and that’s a whole ‘nother blog…