Can yoga be a state of mind?
I teach and practice. Most of those who come to my classes are real people. They hardly make it to yoga more than once or twice a week. They struggle with the warrior poses. They are making their baby steps on their yoga journey. They are graceful and humble in the way they approach and embrace themselves on the mat. I learn so much from them.
I’m lucky and privileged to be able to travel with yoga, meaning that I oversee weekends and retreats for hikers, bikers, skiers, snowboarders and surfers. They are real people too, exploring yoga and its benefits to support their passion. I often notice that they have been living a yogic life prior to their asana practice. All those ‘normal’ people know nothing about gluten, diets, or Sanskrit. They wear tracksuits to the yoga class, have no idea about yoga fashion. They’ve never heard of Patanjali or his Limbs of Yoga, yet they contently live the life of the NOW.
And paradoxically, amongst advanced yoga practitioners or yoga teachers, sometimes that humility is missing. I notice advanced asana practice; impressive Pincha Maruyasans, and conversation about the constant need for detox, guilty confessions of eating chocolate, drinking wine or coffee. The NOW is missing, and these are advanced students and teachers.
They’re educated on Patanajli and his majestic Yoga Sutras, and sometimes teach about non-harming and detachment from judgment in their classes. They are wonderful, sensitive humans, striving for perfection and often neglecting their mundane humanity.
For all of us, may yoga be a state of mind, a way of listening and being in the NOW, humble and free.