We hear our instructors say it a lot but what does that mean? Sometimes, I hear my instructor say words that can mean a lot of different things and maybe that’s the point. However, sometimes it’s nice to just take a minute and break down some ideas that make something esoteric a little easier to nibble on. I think there are two ways to really connect this statement to something that feels really applicable to our day to day grind.
First, every pose is a journey and lends to your class experience as a whole. Every class is a journey and contributes to your practice. Your practice is a journey and we see it reflected in our life. Therefore, each pose is a practice for life. Through each asana we will experience struggle, ease, resistance and possibly even deep emotion. It’s through this experience that we begin to understand how to deal with moments of discomfort rather than shying away from them. It’s in our transitions that we learn to be mindful. It’s through our practice that we learn discipline and commitment. These are all things that apply to life and so many times, we leave our mats with a fresh perspective and newfound freedom in the body and the soul. This is one way that I feel that yoga is a practice for life.
Another way to look at it is our experiences in life show up in our body. Therefore we practice to understand life. As an instructor I see tightness in hips that corresponds to deeper emotional trauma. I see stress in the shoulders of my students and struggle in their asanas. I see people moving mindlessly and on the other end of the spectrum, I see those who beat themselves up if they don’t feel like they hit every pose with perfection. Life shifts and changes and as a reflection, our body shifts and changes. Yoga offers us a way to understand our body and in turn, heal areas in our life through movement.
I am sure there are more ways to interpret these simple, yet complex words. Everyone’s experience will lend a different twist to the same sentence, but isn’t that the point? How does this apply to you? What resonates with you when you hear these words. We would love for you to share.