Why? Well, mostly for the Studio – to help get the word out about yoga; not just classes, not just Uttara, but, YOGA.
The word yoga translates from Sanskrit to mean “union” or “integration.” So many in this country associate it with stretching, relaxing; maybe getting a stronger core or loose hamstrings. But truly, yoga is a system for solving human problems; it’s been on the planet, tried and true, perfected and taught for at least 5,000 years. Spandex and sticky mats are very recent additions.
When I teach yoga to children, I find it fascinating to ask them what they think it is. Most of the time they quickly arrange themselves into “criss-cross applesauce” (sitting cross-legged), place their arms dramatically out to their sides, thumbs touching pointer fingers, close their eyes, and hum. It is beautiful that they immediately hook into the meditative, quieting aspect of yoga.
The word for pose in Sanskrit is asana – and the asanas will help you to create a more healthy, functioning body. And a healthy, happy body does help you to create a healthy, happy life. But there is so much more to yoga than just stretching and strengthening. So much more than strong arms and tight abs. We perfect the body in yoga so we can forget about it and get on with the important work we have come here to do.
In the coming months I look forward to exploring yoga as a lifestyle, not a class. And I offer this viewpoint from the unique perspective of someone trying to blend this ancient tradition with my very average American life. As anyone with children can tell you, hiding in a cave somewhere and meditating for hours can sound pretty darn attractive. The path of the householder, of blending a spiritual practice and lifestyle with being a wife, mother, teacher and business owner can be complex, to say the least.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and we can learn from each other.
Blessings to you, now and always,