Why Do You Do Yoga?

YogaMy answer has changed over the years.

In the beginning the answer was a formless, abstract, unintelligible lump in my throat during savasana that kept me coming back.

Yoga was drawing up all the grief I’d been holding in that was dying to get out. I didn’t know how or why, but I knew the way out was through my body and breath.

Later my answer became more defined, more refined. I do yoga so that if and when my world comes crumbling down again, I won’t. I did yoga to stay sane, to stay healthy, and to get strong psychologically.

The stronger my practice became the more afraid I was of losing it. I became attached to the ability to detatch. Asana was like an addiction that no one would question. Especially me.

There was a period when going to yoga felt like a kind of sweaty church where salvation and spirituality were body and breath and prayer was a rolling AUM.

Over time I began to realize that softening through yoga was often harder to do than strengthening. Metaphorically softening my heart, softening my opinions, and softening my thoughts allowed the true me to begin to reveal herself.

When I ask myself why I do yoga today, my answer is simple.

I do yoga to live my life.

I make room for yoga because it helps me be a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, and human being. It gives me the strength physically to keep up with my baby and it gives me the flexibility I need mentally to roll with the waves of life. Energetically it keeps things flowing and prevents me from feeling stagnant in body or mind.

What’s sometimes hard to swallow is that often doesn’t require as much yoga as I’d like. It doesn’t take four classes a week to reconnect to my true self.

It takes a few minutes a day.

It doesn’t take hours of meditation to drop into my present moment.

It takes a momentary choice to show up Now.

I love that yoga is strong enough to support me through life’s rough patches and flexible enough to morph with me as life changes. When I’m an old lady and can’t do fancy poses I know it will still be there, reminding me to breathe.

Why do you do yoga?

2 thoughts on “Why Do You Do Yoga?

  1. The softening, yes! That is one of the reasons I practice, too. It’s much stronger than hardness…

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