What is yoga?
If you ask 10 different yogis, you’ll likely get 10 different answers.
When you say yoga, many people think of the yoga poses, the physical part of a yoga practice. Many people think of standing on your head.
The physical part of yoga is fantastic. It can help people to find improved self-confidence, flexibility, balance. It can teach ways of grounding and self soothing. It can help those who have been cut off from their bodies learn how to trust themselves again.
But, in my opinion, the truly transformative part of yoga is not physical health. It’s mental health.
The Yoga Sutras might be regarded by some as the “Bible” of yoga, and provide a detailed description of the ancient practice.
Sutra 1.2 states “yogas chitta vritti nirodha”
Or, in other words, “yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind”.
Imagine that. Yoga is a practice to help us learn how to SLOW DOWN our thoughts.
I haven’t met one person in my clinical practice who didn’t have a whole lot going on in their mind.
I believe that through the study, contemplation, and practice of the philosophy of yoga, we can work with many mental and emotional health issues. This can be done with or without standing on your head.