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What is Yoga, Really?

Hi Divas, thanks for tuning in to our second edition in the Yoga for Diva series.

We had a great response to our inaugural post with lots of questions and inspiration for future post topics. But, before we get into the juicy details of how to start integrating yoga in your daily life, I wanted to answer one of the most common questions I get as a yoga teacher…


“What is Yoga?”


 

Giving one simple answer to this question is challenging. From our last post, My Yoga Love Story, where I shared why I love yoga and some of the benefits of the practice, you can see that my yoga practice can look and be different on any given day. This speaks to the diversity and adaptability of yoga to evolve over time, to find a home in any world and to benefit all who accept the invitation to practice.



YOGA IS UNION


Yoga has two meanings.  The first meaning is a state of consciousness. Yoga is a sanskrit word that literally means to join, to unite. Yoga is most often translated as the union of body, mind, and spirit. According to the yogic teachings, this union happens when the thought waves of the mind are calmed.  Thus, yoga is a state of union consciousness. Itโ€™s the experience of a deep sense of connection and oneness with all the parts of your self, others, nature, and the world around you.


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When we are in this state of oneness called yoga, we experience clarity and see things as they really are. In this state, we have full access to our inner wisdom, intuition, and creativity.


YOGA IS A PATH


Yoga is also a  vast and comprehensive body of knowledge and techniques dating back 5,000 years. In this context, yoga is a way, a process.

The yoga practices were developed to turn the mind inward, to balance our energy, and help us realize the inner connection between body and breath, breath and mind, mind and heart, heart and spirit. 

Yoga is both the state of union and the way to achieve the state of union.

There are many yogic practices and techniques.  The most widely practiced ones are:

  • Asana – physical yoga postures
  • Pranayama – breathing exercises
  • Meditation – one pointed focus of the mind

Yogic practices are most effective in achieving an inner state of harmony when combined to form a wholistic and systematic approach.

It’s hard for me to articulate and describe the state of yoga. But as you practice yoga regularly, a subtle sense of inner well-being and contentment becomes an authentic and natural part of who you are. It requires direct experience to begin to understand, know, and experience this peaceful yet dynamic state of wholeness. Oh, but Divas, once you do, you are forever changed!


Yoga for Divas Reflection


As you ponder on what was shared above, Please do share what you think! I hope you enjoyed the info. Please leave me a comment below if you did; or, if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you!!

Namaste divas!

16 Comments

  • Linda Newman says:

    Very good information. I have taken a few yoga classes. I always felt out of place, the other students were so involved and very peaceful๐Ÿ’•

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Linda,
      Great to hear you enjoyed the article and that you have started your yoga journey. Sometimes, when we start something new, we feel awkward and out of place. In those times, it almost always feel as if everyone else knows more than us. ๐Ÿ™‚ Many times that’s not true. As long as you feel safe in your space, I would encourage you to continue to explore yoga classes. You will inevitably find a place where you feel at home.

  • Danielle says:

    I’ve never had yoga defined like this. Understanding the meaning will help give me purpose when I perform yoga moves. I want that sense of calm and clarity you speak of!

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Danielle,
      I’m so happy you found the blog helpful. Having purpose in your yogic practice really boost the potential for transformation beyond the physical.

  • Faye says:

    Love it. Maybe I’ll try it again

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Faye,
      Thanks for join me here. Please give it another go. There are so many ways yoga can be a benefit.

  • Monica says:

    The first time I took yoga, I had a hard time getting into it because I could not relax. I would lie on the floor all tensed up and stressed out from my job. I never tried it again until I bought a weight loss yoga video. I actually liked this one. I’m still willing to try another class.

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Monica,
      I happy to hear that you have started your yoga journey. You are not alone. Often times, relaxing and letting go is the hardest part of the yoga practice for many. With the appropriate practice(s) and persistence, you will be begin to relax more into yourself.

  • Denise Hall says:

    I really enjoyed the article because it was informative and it was very educational. I have only done yoga once in my life and it was very invigorating and relaxing for me. Thank you for breaking down the different aspects of yoga. Now I need to do some yoga to help me relax and focus!

    • Stephanie Perry-Bush says:

      Hi Denise,
      I’m glad you found the post helpful. And excited to hear about your yoga experience. The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit. Please stay with us as we continue the Yoga for Diva series. I will show how to integrate yoga into your daily routine.

  • Garnett McNeill says:

    I know that inner peace feeling that you are talking about. I experience it every time I practice physical yoga.Especially at the end with shavasana.

  • Tai says:

    I love this! What a wonderful definition of Yoga and really explaining it for those of us who often feel lost in classes. I try and just zone out during yoga, but this is really helpful to understand it and appreciate the practice on a different level. Very helpful! I don’t join a class often, but am so encourage and looking forward to again soon!

  • Brunisha says:

    Praying for Safe travels!

  • Imani says:

    Sharaym/Peace & Freedom! Many Thanks for this beautiful post. It speaks honestly & succinctly to the heart of this frequent query. I also encourage exploration beyond the migration of yogic principles to India. Yoga is much more ancient, well over 10,000 years old. Heri/Be at Peace. Mer Aa/Much Love

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for sharing this information about yoga. It is one of my favorite exercises and helps me cool down after cardio.

    Can you recommend a posture or sequence of yoga moves to do after a cardio workout?

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