Yoga is about flexibility and strength in postures right? I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t think that yoga was all about postures. I think many of us hear things here and there about chakras, energy and breathing but in most commercial classes, the emphasis is placed only on posture practice. Not that I’m blaming the teachers, students ask for a workout and teachers have been delivering. But if you, like me, only seek a workout or good stretch when practicing yoga, you are totally missing out.
Yoga is more than postures. Asana is just one limb out of eight limbs. In the past couple of weeks, my mind has been expanded. Through this yoga teacher training course, I have been exposed to yogic theories surrounding human psychology, emotional issues and learning methodologies just to name a few.
In this day an age, a lot of us can learn something from yoga. The practice of yoga has existed for thousands of years but the values and lessons taken from yoga still ring true today. Yogic values encapsulate the idea of tolerance. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is not a religion nor a cult. Yoga is simply a lifestyle, a thought-process and a guideline for humans to live their best life. Yoga doesn’t discriminate across race, culture or even gender. To embody yoga, is to embrace everyone as who they are; simply human.
I hope that as this course wraps up, I can permanently implement some of the values and life lessons I learnt into my daily life. Some topics that really resonated with me were the topics on life-improvement and human physiology and psychology. Finding a mantra doesn’t only mean memorizing traditional Sanskrit mantras. It can be as simple as having a set of quotes to live by. When facing embarrassing or trivial issues, I have often repeated to myself “if it won’t matter in five years, it won’t matter now”. Little did I know as I was repeating this chant to myself, that all these years I have been harnessing the power of mantras! I hope to ingrain a few more quotes into my life to keep me grounded in my values.
Another goal of mine is to keep seeking knowledge about yogic chakras and human psychology. The interdisciplinary nature of this course, interweaving traditional yogic ideas with modern scientific theories has been fascinating. I especially enjoyed learning about chakras and how they connect to modern-day life. What makes people tick? Surprisingly, many ideas in yoga can be applied towards human psychology. I want to challenge myself to further explore the relationship between psychology and physiology in the human body.
Finally, although I started out this post stating that yoga is not all about postures, I hope that as the days trickle by after completing this course, I will continue to be disciplined about my daily practice. All in all, the past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind of new ideas and a big kick in the butt for me to improve my asana practice.