I’ve decided to ‘come out’ about what it means to me to be a ‘Practitioner of Yoga’.
When I say that I am a yoga teacher, it evokes many reactions, usually comments only referring to the physical practice. Of course, the physical practice is a good thing, and, each and every person will have their own interpretation or reaction to their idea of what Yoga is.
It occurs to me that it is much more accurate to say that I am a ‘Practitioner of Yoga’, rather than ‘just’ a teacher of Yoga, and my intention in sharing this is to bring forward what Yoga is for me.
When you look at someone who has been practicing Hatha Yoga for very many years, you may mainly see the physical effects. Maybe also, you may sense that there is more to them than meets the eye, but can’t quite put a finger on it.
My intention in writing is to share what goes on underneath the physical, and why Yoga is a way of life for me, and not just something that I do on the mat. Of course, what I do on the mat informs everything else, and, there is a great deal more to it than that for me. Everything that I do whilst not on the mat can also inform my life, if I but have the ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’…
So I am ‘coming out’ as a Practitioner of Yoga, and sharing what that truly means to me, and what it is that informs my practice.
One of the ways that the physical practice can help me to access a deeper experience is to work with the symbolism of the asanas (poses). Take, for example, the Mountain Pose, Tadasana.
I am like a Mountain. What is visible is just the tip. The rest is hidden deep underground and is unseen. Although I have a sense of what is hidden, I cannot see where I begin and end. My goal as a Practitioner of Yoga is to strip back all that prevents me from seeing and experiencing who I am deep underneath the external, and to abide in that place in all my dealings with myself, others and life, on every level.
The practices in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and within the Kundalini System give me the tools to know myself better: to know who I truly am, unfettered by all the things that bind me to my ego and prevent me from resting in my True Self as a constant experience, which is a place of deep peace, bliss and Light…