Several years ago I managed to do “yoga” for 120 days straight. Then I skipped a day. The number of skipped days eventually were higher in number than the actual practice days. I’m referring to Hatha yoga – A form of yogic exercise that emphasizes specific postures in combination with controlled breathing. This is the most widely practiced form of yoga in the West.
I have restarted the exercise or asana part of yoga. In August I vowed to myself that I would do my best not to skip days with the goal of surpassing the 120 record I once had. I’m thankful I have met that goal plus more. Today made day 167. I hope I’m not jinxing myself in stating this. I’m still very much a novice. Yoga is so much more than what we in the West usually associate with it.
What is the true essence of yoga? Most will think of it as the stretching exercises. It’s a very loosely used term. It can be different things to different people. Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite with that field of Origin which we have termed God.
My belief is that yoga is a practice of life and finding out who we are in this life and what our purpose is, and how it all relates to God, and how it all actually is God, which may be the conclusion drawn if you are successful in the yogic quest. I see yoga as relating to all life and how we handle ourselves in all of our relationships in this life – relationships of not only the human kind but of our relationship to all life, what’s on our planet Earth. A thing called time, the laboratory or theater or school where we can experiment, play out our dramas, and study the lessons in finding our answers, will roll out and unfold for the yogic journey and then will roll back up and disappear when not needed.