There is a Yoga for everyone. Yoga is Sanskrit for 'union', it doesn't have to be poses or exercises - it is whatever makes you feel connected. Connected to You, to your breath, to others, life, nature, a greater existence. Wise words from Dylan Werner I can resonate so much with are "If you can see it, it probably isn't Yoga".
In the 28 years I have been practicing Yoga I have been a floosy - I have moved from one style or method to another at all the varying stages of my life for whatever my needs have been at that time;
at 17yrs I began with a Satyananda practice for the discipline I so desperately needed
in my late teens my curiosity led me to some far-out-there meditation and channelling groups, had some unforgettable eye-openers that secured my belief at this young age, as well as feeling so at home in the company of the older women in these groups
in my bouncy twenties the vigorous movement of Ashtanga matched my energy levels and mindset (and my lifestyle at the time!)
my intense Saturn return led me to a few years of very determined Bikram
at 30yrs wise my love of anatomy and physical awareness and desire to heal my own conditions led me to studying Yogalates Teacher Training
I cleared and opened my teacher's voice chanting Kirtan with the Hare Krishna
I daydreamed on weekenders in Ashrams of being a monk so I could escape it all - I thought Karma Yoga would be much easier than life! (except I always got the toilet duties)
my need to bring play into my life, perhaps shake things upside down as well, with inversion exploring and arm balances I achieved a sense of accomplishment and my confidence levels boosted (and I will admit my ego too) I felt more credible as a teacher
my desire for going deeper I healed emotional trauma with Chakra Vinyasa
my craving for wisdom gave me the incredibly euphoric practice of Kundalini Yoga and Mudra
my search for peace within I explored more and more with Pranayama, Mantra and Meditation
I loved every stage of this journey of Yoga and will probably revisit them again when I need. All these varying forms of practice have each served certain periods of my life, yet in some ways I don't feel any different than who I was when I first began, because my intention is still the same - to connect. I am still just as curious and love feeling like a complete beginner. The difference now is I don't need anything fancy to connect me, it's just to remember. My ultimate go-to practice today has become so simple, nothing compares to giving myself time to be able to just sit and be, in this beautiful Shala in my home. Aware of my thoughts, letting them settle there on the periphery of my conscious mind, not being controlled by them, nor seeking to switch them off. Awake to the awesome presence there is within me and releasing any limiting boundaries and separations to all else.
I am so grateful for all the stages of suffering in my life because it led me to who I am. I truly believe if we could each have a way, unique to the individual, a way to remember this space of "I AM" when we are faced with challenges, there would be far less suffering of anxiety and depression. The fear of survival, loss, or need for approval ("am I doing ok?") is unnecessary pain. When we feel connected there is love and respect for one another. Union. Yoga.
My life purpose, my Dharma, is to share this 'remembering' with others, finding our own Yoga.
So what is it for you...maybe it's not a Yoga practice, maybe it's when you're in nature, cooking, gardening, exploring, surfing.....?
My favourite song for 'remembering'.... "I am" by Nirinjan Kaur