Wild Hatha or Something Else?

So many who claim to ‘practice Yoga’ and/or ‘teach Yoga’ do so only in name.

 

Yoga is more than Hatha Yoga, the ‘forceful, friction’ approach of exercise.  In fact, when the two words are used together, hatha + yoga, they equal ‘forceful union’, or ‘union through friction’.  As such, a good question to ask is, “What is being forced”, and “What is the result of that friction?”

 

Do you think the muscles and tendons are the friction?  Well, physically speaking, ‘yes’.  But Yoga is not just a physical practice – even if one only does it for hatha / physical reasons, it is still Yoga ..

 

.. the union, the yoking of body and mind.  As a physical / hatha practice, one can say that friction occurs with the movement of muscle and bone, or ligament and tendon; afterall, the body is being stretched and moved in ways it has either never done before or for the first time in a long time.

 

But Yoga is not just the body, but the literal yoke that connects the body and mind together; allowing the two to work in union, to complement each other.   So the force and friction is also what occurs when the body encounters the mind, or when one truly encounters the two forces combined.

 

Confused yet?

 

Don’t be.  Yoga stirs the pot by loosening dormant or forgotten or deliberately cast off feelings and emotions.  So when the body meets the mind – the two coming into contact – that friction can start a fire.

 

Fire in the Belly / Fire in the Head = Inspiration, which literally means IN SPIRIT.

 

There it is: Yoga is a Spiritual practice.

 

But is it religious?

 

No.  Nda.  Ne.  Non.  Neyn.  Nun.  Ni.  Nyi.  Nag usy.  Ngawu.  Naw.  Nope.  Nein.  Nyet.

 

Got that?  ‘No’ means no .. as in no religion in Yoga.

 

To yoke the body to the mind, to live more consciously, to live with ease and grace, to live every day as the precious and blessed experience that it is, does not require religion.

 

But it does require awareness.  Which is why, in a good Yoga class, one will hear:

-“Breathe Well, Smile Often”,

-“Relax into the pose and look within”,

-“Don’t do, BE”,

-“Let the breath do the pose, not the pose control the breath”, and the like.

 

Such comments are not meant to be cryptic, but when one does Yoga, these statements (and many more) begin to make sense.  Over time, their meaning becomes even more profound.  Or at least, one’s awareness grows to a degree that the meaning of so many things that have before remain unanswered, become clear, and meaningful, and applicable to daily living.

 

So Yoga is not just a physical practice done in a studio on a plastic mat.  It is a perspective that prompts one to recognize the body equally as it recognizes the mind, equally as it recognizes how the two work together.

 

And that between place, the liminal?  Well, that’s just the beginning.

 

Namaste and Peace Out!

 

Yoginiji

 

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