Having a Personal Yoga Philosophy
The philosophy of yoga gives meaning to the practice as it guides the seeker inwards towards the wisdom and peace inside. By studying the ancient texts of yoga philosophy we learn that the mind, body and spirit are all one, inseparable. We learn that there are many different tools like meditation, pranyama, asana practice and certain rules of living, Yamas and Niyamas, we can use when we explore our inner world. With a constant yoga practice we will connect to that inner world, our authentic voice and start to listen deeply.
One of the first steps to be able to authentically share the yoga practice with others is to have a personal yoga philosophy. A personal statement with a description of who we are, what yoga means to us in our life, what motivates us and in what way we want to motivate and share yoga with others.
All our students write their own personal yoga philosophy as a requirement for the 200 hour yoga teacher training program. From the first day in the program they start to work on what will be their personal yoga philosophy. The written statement is a work in progress that will change as we change when we gain deeper insights in our yoga journey. Below is a purpose statement written by one of our recent students from one of our programs in Ostional, Nicaragua.
“Yoga is many things to different people. Some people were born into a yogic lifestyle and grew up with the practice, while others only find it later on in life. Some do it for the pure physical benefits while others do it to find peace and balance in their lives. Through my years of practicing and discovering, one thing I have found is that, regardless of the initial intent, all paths will lead to all of the above benefits (and more).
I have never been a deeply religious person due to the way I was raised. I believe its because of this reason that I found my spiritual dedication to yoga; my new personal ‘church’. Typically beginners fear the unknown; the belief that the practice of yoga requires specific out-of-body powers, deep spirituality and an ability to contort ones body into strange shapes. The truth is an individual doesn’t need to belong to anything or believe in any certain thing. In fact you don’t need to believe in anything except for the powers you possess yourself. This is probably one of the biggest challenges people face today. The notion that they are not good enough, not flexible enough, not calm enough, not strong enough, the list goes on and on. The simple thing about yoga is to get on your mat. No matter when you start or where you are in your life, if you have a desire to change and the willingness to learn, there are so many people ready to teach and to learn from you.
An obstacle we face in this modern world is time. We all live extremely busy lives and being able to make it to ones mat while keeping ones gaze and focus inward each day is extremely challenging, but it is because of this challenge that allows our practice to grow. It’s the meditative flow of Ashtanga yoga that provides us the tools for keeping our gaze inward. Reflecting on something as simple as the breath, the mind transcends to higher states, where the mysteries of power and energy are contemplated.
The clarity and freedom I have personally found in yoga has indeed changed my world and the way I look at it. I have no desire to force it upon anybody but merely have the desire to share it with the hopes that they too will experience this bliss.”