I am going to be writing frequent FAQ About Yoga post’s and this is part 1! If anyone has a question, feel free to ask and I hope you like this post 🙂
Today’s Yogi Q&A!
1• What is Yoga?
2• Do you have to be flexible to start Yoga?
3• Is there any competition in Yoga?
+ Where Competition arises and what it does for us
1 – What is Yoga?
Yoga is many things, and the easiest way to describe it is as a philosophy and a physical activity/sport. The physical part of yoga is what most people think of when they hear the word ‘yoga’. Yoga as a physical activity involves ‘asanas’, or postures/poses. To eliminate confusion, when I talk about yoga, I am referring to the physical sport and when I mention the ‘study’ or ‘philosophy’ of yoga I am talking about yoga as a discipline/way of life/spiritual path.
While the Postures/Asanas are the most popular form of yoga – particularly in the Western World – the Asana’s/Poses are only a TINY ‘limb’, of part, or yoga. In actuality, the poses/asanas are the least important in the grand scheme of everything the yoga practice is, which is ALL about being the best you, fixing yourself so that you radiate positivity and so that you can live the best and happiest life possible, with minimal emotional pain.
The asanas DO something very important- they train the mind, and get you ready to accept the rest of the philosophy if that is your path. If not, yoga is GREAT as a physical sport and hobby, and you don’t have to go further into it. You are still a Yogi.
For reference, I study the Patanjali’s Eight Limb Pathway, which is referred to as the eight limb pathway to liberation “i.e- end of pain”. There is WAY too much that I have to say for me to go into in any great detail in this post, and will do a lot more in the future.
NOTE- If you are interested and you do google it, please know that not everyone, or myself, has to complete every single limb, or follow every single little rule in the pathway. For example, it teaches to practice ‘Celibacy’ . HOWEVER, Celibacy does not mean you have to refrain from sex, I deffo don’t. What it DOES means is self control and that’s the point. You have to learn how to control your impulses, and need to learn how to control your mind and it’s many desires that you don’t really need. I practice this step by having ‘fast’ days every so often, not drinking alcohol, so on and so fourth. This also applies to every other rule. Don’t be overwhelmed by it at first, and just get familiar with the philosophy and it’s main purpose.
ALWAYS know, yoga is your own. It’s your own special journey that you call the shots in. No yogi on this earth, is better than another. If you don’t want to follow a rule in the notes, don’t do it. You are not insulting the great sages who wrote it by doing this or going off course. You are honouring them by accepting yoga as your own and making your way through it in your own, unique way.. This is what they gave us so we need to use it the best way we can and that’s all that will ever matter.
In summary, yoga is both a physical activity + sport, along with a philosophy and discipline. It is also a spiritual journey (the most important part), and it offers you multiple opportunities to live the best life you can, and feel the be best you can, no matter the circumstances. It’s about being happy and thats the bottom line.
2- Do you have to be flexible to start yoga?
This is one of the most asked questions that I find people ask. So many people think that they have to be flexible before they start practicing yoga. This simply is not the case at all. You do not have to be flexible before you start yoga, by doing yoga you gain flexibility. In my case, I started yoga with no flexibility and terrible body coordination. Through establishing a consistent yoga practice, over time I gained flexibility.
The truth is that not many people come into yoga already flexible, unless they have participated and excelled in a sport in their childhood such as dancing or gymnastics. Even then, each asana – particularly more advanced ones- take persistent practice and effort to execute. This is because a yoga journey is never complete – anyone who has not been in these poses before – no matter how flexible they are from another sport – will have to practice and work on perfecting specific asanas.
Never let the fact that you may not be flexible stop you from trying yoga because yoga is used as a tool to gain flexibility, and requires no previous history with flexibility.
“You do not need to be flexible to start yoga, you gain flexibility by starting yoga”
2- Is There Any Competition in Yoga???
Something that a lot of people do not know until they delve right into the Philosophy and Study of yoga, is that there is absolutely no competition in the practice. No one is ever better than anyone – it does not matter how many years experience you have – everyone is equal in yoga. Do you ever see any yoga competitions?? If you do, it’s not something any real philosopher would ever, ever attend or approve of. It’s totally against the point of yoga and it’s wrong. Yogi’s who have worked through the first parts of the Limb System have come to terms with who they are at heart, they know about the soul and they know we are just al so unique in our own way, there is no competition between any two people and competition is only in the holder’s head. If you are a beginning yogi, please understand that you should never look at someone in a pose and get upset because you can’t do it. Just use it for inspiration. If you feel jealously creep in when you look at other yogi’s, do not look at them and continue along on your journey on your own. This is hard with Instagram these days, but it’s possible. You will one-day come to terms with it and will accept it, and learn from it. Give yourself time and distance yourself from anything that makes you feel pressured, rushed or disappointed.
How I Let Go of Competition & How it has changed my life COMPLETELY….
Yoga is a never ending journey. No matter what, there is always going to be process to make and wisdom to learn, not matter how advanced you become. A yogi practicing yoga for a year has a lot of growth and learning to do, as does a yogi who has been practicing for three years or even ten.
Before I started practicing yoga, I used to be so competitive. I always had insecurities that arose from a competitive need to one-up people. After practicing yoga and allowing it to fully embrace me – and after I let go of my massive ego – I became so immune to any form of competition or self-comparison- and I can say, my life is so much more stress/anxiety free.
The ‘competition’ we have in our heads is nothing but an illusion that has been heavily programmed into us at birth and by society. We think life is just a big ONE-UP, better than you type deal, which is not the truth and the fact is that you are competing with yourself in your own head.This will do nothing but produce stress for you, and no-one but you. This means it’s up to you to chose what you do with that. Do you continue to perpetuate that or do you let it go? It’s your decision..
At the very core of each of us – is the same spirit – and even though we are the same in this way, the fact is that every single person and each and every soul is so unique and there is no comparison. There is room for everyone in life and there is no need to constantly compete with anyone. What a waste of fucking time, really. .
THAT’S IT FOR TODAY BABESSSSSS!!!!!!! STAY TUNED
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