B.K.S. Iyengar once said “Practicing without the backing of Yama and Niyama is not Yoga, but mere acrobatics”. The statement is not to put down the Gymnasts practice but clearly defining and differentiating Yoga being practiced out of the individual 8 limps – the key yogic guidance passed down from Pantanjali Maharishi.
I first came across the word “Santosha” – this is used by one of the youtube/Instagram sensations (biggalyoga) setting intent and seeking out people who are not confident with the extra curves of their bodies – the plus-sized women. The social stigma is heavy when it comes to obesity, but this lady took on the challenge, grew contented of herself, dragged the mat and started yoga intently and intensely. For years, watching her Instagram followers grew from just thousands to hundreds of thousands made me believe that through hard work, one can achieve anything while staying as their true selves.
What inspires many is not the graceful asanas, but her focus, dedication and energy level incorporating the Yama and Niyama as a part of her yogic way of practice. It is rather hard, especially in our city climate to stick firmly to the practice of all the 8 limbs, but as we learn to let go and reach a sense of stillness in the mind, we are able to stretch ourselves further and live each day happier while also doing the things we enjoy doing.
Terence~ Jan 17 YTT