It’s easy to turn up to a Yoga class and do a bunch of Yoga postures and then tell everyone that you go to Yoga. But my question is ‘Do you?’
Having practised on and off for over 20 years and taught Yoga since 2008, for me there are 3 totally essential elements to making Yoga, Yoga, in its completeness.
Your body arrives on the mat to perform a whole routine of Yoga postures. Tick.
Your breath happens within the body so it is there of course! Tick
The final element and most important, but often as transient in appearance as the northern lights, your mind.
But what is your mind? Can you draw it? Can you contain it? Does it do what you want it to do? Where are it’s boundaries?
The first 2 things are married together in the ‘physical’ but the etheric, tricky little monkey that is your mind, is often not present AT ALL.
Many gurus and teachers bang on about ‘presence’ or ‘being present,’ but it IS what makes Yoga the complete deal. It’s the bit that changes your life on and off the mat and your mind makes that bit happen. Have you ever driven somewhere and reached your destination but have no idea how you got there? Thats the malaise I am talking about. NON presence, which is responsible for SO much. Accidents, injuries, arguments, self doubt and so much more.
Don’t stop going to Yoga today, but if you asked me what steps to take towards a fulfilling life I would recommend you start your Yogic journey learning how to be still and meditate to start to train your mind.
Being present is all about what you do to bring your mind to a place where you can experience life in a richer and happier way.
Vipassana meditation for example is INCREDIBLE. A baptism of fire for the mind. Open to complete beginners and ‘householders.’ If you have a spare 10 days, OMG it’s one of the best things you can do.
But don’t be fooled, this is a lifelong journey for most. Somedays your mind is with you on your mat and oh boy what a difference it makes to the pleasure of practising Yoga. Other days you have a head full of stuff and you hit the mat for 30 minutes and only body and breath are there.
It’s not a judgement because you can do what the heck you like on the mat, but to do Yoga every time without mind training would be like walking around in life with one leg missing.
To see how Gina teaches the 3 essential elements check out her You Tube Channel and also where she teaches on retreat.