What Is Yoga, Really?

What is yoga?

The teaching of yoga reminds me of what I aspire to be, and what human beings are truly capable of becoming. It is the part of our self in the purest form without injuries or false beliefs. Yoga helps us to remember who we truly are. It is the child heart filled with wonder that is inspired by the ordinary and doesn’t need the extraordinary. Yoga is here to point you to the light. Yoga is a place where you remember that your essential nature is one of compassion, kindness and open-mindedness. Because yoga is a way of life, it is here to remind us of our true nature.

There are dos and don’ts (like the 10 commandments) of yoga called the Yamas and Niyamas. “Satya,” which means truth, and “ahimsa,” non-harming, are ethics for a teacher. They are there as a reminder for both the student and teacher of what yoga ethics look like. But the truth is, we wouldn’t need the commandment or the Yama or Niyama if we remembered them. We forget that in our essence we are already the Yama and Niyama. In our essence, we are goodness and we are not separated. A skillful yoga teacher will remind us that we have these things in our true nature and invoke those qualities in us. The teacher’s gift is to see this great light in you and hold it high so you can see it as well. We call this yoga a place where you can start saying yes to life again.

I believe that yoga is a place which lives inherently inside of us, and that we need to reinforce this place everyday so we don’t forget, and we keep it sacred. It’s a place where we know the difference between the ego and love, between the dark and the light, between God and illusions. It’s a place where truth does not need to be spoken or explained, because it just is. Yoga is where you make a choice not to forget. It’s a place where you are determined to see that God lives inside each one of us as the highest, and that we can become a good container to let this light come through us and live vibrantly inside of us. We can shine this light in our own personal, creative ways. From that yogic place we can be of great service, and we can say “yes” to life.

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