What is Yoga?

When you are in yoga, you are ‘one with’ or in union with yourself. As the self, very loosely, has a body, a mind and a soul, then, being in union with the self would mean bringing the three sides together. You could be in yoga while playing the piano, a game of tennis, baking a cake or writing. Only holding oneself in a twisted pose on a yoga mat doesn’t qualify for it to be called yoga. It may well not be if …it is not done with an awareness of breath and bringing the mind to what the body is doing. This is what I was doing at a yoga class in the gym. Trying to follow rapid fire instructions with the words, ‘inhale’ and ‘exhale’ thrown in. But was my body in correct alignment? Was I inhaling and exhaling at the right times? These questions in my mind (there goes the mind) coupled with me straining my neck (there goes the pose) to watch the instructor demonstrate whilst simultaneously performing the moves didn’t help keep my awareness on the breath and the body. It did not feel great.

At ‘Tirisula Yoga’, I was shown all steps very clearly. My poses were adjusted by the teachers so that I came closer to, if not get the ‘steady and comfortable pose’ which is what the word ‘asana’ means. Other important details like the correct gazing point helped bring my body, mind and self/soul in alignment. After 19 continuous days of  practice I experience a new flexibility, strength and centeredness. It feels great!