Going Beyond the Physical
I attended my first yoga class in college. I didn’t have a physical practice or fitness routine at the time, and yoga seemed interesting. But in that first class, I got so much more than what I bargained for. I experienced such a feeling of coming home. It was a moment of peeling back the veil, and discovering that there was more waiting for my life. I had a feeling of excitement, exuberance, release, and passion pouring out of me, all at once. It felt so healing and nourishing – and after that class, I’ve never looked back.
Many students approach yoga because they’re interested in fitness and flexibility, but then, something deeper begins to happen. Asana, the physical part of yoga, is actually only one of eight limbs of the practice. I had a teacher once who said that Asana is the gateway drug to yoga, that the physical practice opens your body, and then, because the body and spirit are so intertwined, you start to embody the other aspects of yoga as well. The way you eat, the way you interact with other people, your perspective on life; all of these tend to change when you begin to explore yoga in its fullness. Physical movement is only a small part of the big picture.