Misconceptions of Yoga
Yoga philosophy is not a religion, but it is a wonderful complement for deepening spiritual or religious practice(s).
Mantra practice does not assume practitioners are worshipping deities. Mantra gives way to creating Sankalpa, intention work, visceral awareness, and a relationship between sound and consciousness.
In the west, yoga is often depicted and misunderstood as a physical practice for stretching or increasing flexibility. Yoga is not about hitting that perfect posture or attaching to "success" or "failure” of performance. Yoga is not comparing oneself to another (this only creates more distance from the self). Considering the 8 limbs of Raja Yoga, asana/seat for the mind, the physical practice is only an 8th of the practice.
Yoga is not a workout, it is a work-in, a state of being. It is a peeling away of layers to enter a state of yoga/union to connect with self. You are not “going anywhere” or “leaving your consciousness” when practicing yoga, you are actually connecting deeply within your own being.
Yes, there are so many benefits to a consistent yoga practice, much of which is supported by science; however, extending your practice off the mat, into your life, and into the world is most precious.
And, yes… you can meditate. The subject of “I can’t meditate” is another matter because so many misunderstand the definition of meditation. (Smells like a blog is brewing….)
The first chapter, Samadhipadah, of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, defines yoga, problems reaching the state of yoga, and how to reach yoga/union. In class or private sessions, I take time and care to understand our practice together from the context of the Yoga Sutras. I look forward to deepening our understanding of yoga together.