Some experts say the official definition of yoga is a union or yoking together of mind and body, of breath and movement, or of heart and soul. We think all of that is true. And we love any excuse to re-introduce the word “yoke” to our modern vernacular.
At The Centre we also believe, however, that every student who practices yoga has their own set of definitions that shift from day to day, practice to practice. For example, some days your yoga practice might be all about patience. Patience to hold a pose, to tweak it closer toward the full expression, or patience to accept that your best today is not, perhaps, your best ever. Some days the practice is about fire. Fire to push through discomfort, fire to purify our body, fire to push through an emotional obstacle. And sometimes, our mind is so busy, the practice is about remembering why we’re there, what a gift yoga is, and that we call it a practice, because it’s not meant to be perfect. Each day, we give it our best. That’s the most anyone can ask, and it’s the most we can give.
But throughout all of the shifts and changes, one thing stays constant: the work must be in the moment. It’s hard to hold Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon pose, while rehashing the argument you had with your brother that morning. It’s impossible to breathe in Ustrasana, Camel pose, if you can’t open your heart and give in to the unknown. Headstand is only possible if you can, just for a moment, overcome fear, and allow trust (and a little belly strength….) to turn you heels over head.
The ability and, frankly, the necessity to stay in the moment is the greatest gift yoga has to give. And it is a gift we can try to take off the mat and into every interaction. That’s where the real yoga lies. The real yoking happens when you allow what you find in your physical practice to unite with your personal life. That’s the magic of yoga.