The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means “to join” or “to yoke”.
Yoga is the foundation of the most important relationship you will ever have; a lifelong relationship with your self. Intimacy is not just about the physical; it is a deeper connection on a mental, emotional and intuitive level.
When I hear people who are hesitant to begin a yoga practice, they focus on the physical: “I’m not flexible enough; I’m not strong enough; I need more movement and activity than yoga provides; I can’t sit still.” On the surface, the conscious mind, these are the reasons we use to validate hesitation and in turn they become accepted as truth. Deep down though, these are manifestations of our fear to dive in to the deepest parts of the self.
With good reason! It is scary as hell to be in tune with our own emotions, the rollercoaster of feelings that our human lives subject us to. You know what is even scarier than that? The fact that when we are not attuned to our inner self, we are subject to be ruled by the whims of those very emotions we don’t want to face.
We all crave peace, joy, love; even if we try to live in austerity without attachments these are basic needs in life. So much that we do in life is an attempt at fulfillment of these basic needs, but without understanding of our selves and of the emotions, thoughts, patterns and stories we live with, we find ourselves still empty after temporary bliss.
Through yoga we can begin to bring awareness inward so that we develop a relationship with ourselves. In this way, we begin to understand ourselves and our actions will reflect this. When we act from a place of awareness, we can move forward on a path that will bring forth fulfillment.
Yes, yoga is an intimate act. It is beyond the physical, although that is the manifestation we can most easily see, express and share with each other. Yoga truly takes place inside, slowly sparking a change, an inner revolution that then manifests itself in the concious world.
As someone who has begun this jourey of a profound and lifelong relationship with the self, I invite you to do the same. Practice in whichever way suits you best, but give it a try. There’s a reason people say, “Yoga will change your life.”
Go for it; change your life.