What is Yoga?

The question was there. Do I continue to plug away at the computer, trying to figure just what steps are necessary for forward movement; do I eat lunch; or do I take this brief moment of silence and stillness in my house for yoga? Grumbling tummies and procrastinating on my work…these can wait. My yoga? My breath? Moving in my body? Absolutely necessary. And now is the time.

Unroll the mat. Step on. Find my breath and move with it. Feel the knots unwinding, the tightness dissipating, and my soul reawakening. My bracelets clink as my hands hit the mat. They slide up and down my arms as I move, a slight percussive moment accompanied only by my breath and the dogs, snoring, wandering with nails clicking on wood and tile, asking to be let outside.

Sink into twenty minutes of practice. Twenty minutes may not be much but it is time. Time to be present. Time to stay sane. I roll up my mat. My body thanks me. My mind thanks me. I’m a little less wound and a little more myself.

. . .

What is yoga? A new student asked me this question the other day. I stumbled through an answer, emphasizing again and again that asana practice was just one of eight limbs. But the question is stuck. I keep dancing around an answer and I notice that no one answer feels just right. Depending upon the day, my mood, or my needs, my yoga practice shifts. Sometimes it’s asana. Sometimes it’s something else. Almost always it’s relational. So maybe I’ll linger there and see if something arises.

You? How would you answer that question?

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