What is yoga? Part 1

Vrschikasana (The Scorpion) II performed by stunningly beautiful
Simi Cruz

Mo: Being a student of yoga for nearly 8 years now, I´m still pondering the question: What is yoga? So the direct meaning of the word can be translated as "union", "to join/attach/apply" and it´s bigger meaning could be described as Patanjali describes it in the Yoga sutras:

"Chitta vrtti nirodhah"

- which in English means the "the stillness of the fluctations of the mind".
(Which always makes my really childish mind laugh, since that gives me a mental picture of a brain that farts... I know, as my sister always says, I´m hopelessly immature for my age...).


What I know of the meaning of yoga - in the world of Mo, it has to do with a way of thinking, being and acting - both towards yourself and others.

To have respect for yourself and your own mind and body. Listening inwards and really listening.
To let whatever happens on the mat (emotions, feelings, moods and reactions) tell you a story of who you really are. Whether on or off the mat.

It´s easy being saint-like, cool-headed and totally aware, when you are in beautiful, quiet surroundings with like-minded people, but what happens when you´re behind the wheel and someone cuts you off in traffic when you are late for an appointment? Or when you end up having to work with people who leave a lot to be desired? Where is your yogic attitude then?

I´m still such a beginner. I´m learning on and off the mat every day. I´m still fighting my ego -which sometimes can be the biggest fight of all.

Looking at phenomenal Simi Cruz (pictured above) I have a DESIRE to be able to do what she is doing. But who really has the desire? The pure, loving part of me, or the tough, ego-driven part of me?

I practiced yoga in two ways tonight. 1. Physically, because I went to the shala for my mysore practice. 2. Mentally, since I decided to cut my practice in half because my body didn´t resopond the way it usually responds. I was light headed and dizzy. So instead of doing 2h, I did 1h. And I did it with love and compassion. No ego, no must.

By the way, a good example of non-yoga: when I came out from practice to pick up my jacket and my boots, someone had thrown my favorite NIKE-"uggs" in a pile on the floor and not bothered to put them back on the shoe stand.

FYI: VERY un-yoga like behavior.

There are obviously more people out there but me who are beginners at being yoga.

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