Are you Posing or Practicing?
You know that bumper-sticker cliché about life being about the journey and not the destination?
Let's substitute "Yoga" for "Life."
With the Instagramification of pretty much everything, especially Yoga, it's easy to think that the finished, filtered version is the point. But prioritizing the pose over the process results in a one-dimensional perspective that applauds the moment of achievement and turns the practitioner into a performer.
What if, instead of prioritizing postures, an equal amount of attention and airtime was devoted to the process of entering into and coming out of an asana? Rather than your yoga practice being a sequence of poses that build to a peak and end with a nap, what if you considered each pose as a complete practice that moves through the natural cycle of birth, growth, death, and regeneration? How would imagining Yoga as a continuous spiral towards center, essence, Source shift your practice, your life?
From this perspective, each asana, like Whitman's famous grain of sand in which we can "see infinity" is a whole practice unto itself. From this perspective, each asana becomes less about achieving and more about receiving. Balancing on the backs of your arms becomes less about "look what I can do!" and more about "what can I do?" Nothing to do with perfection and everything to do with presence.
Let's be clear: this is not a call to abandon asana altogether; it is form that gives shape to feeling and function. Orientation whether towards a pose or a point B, gives a sense of purpose and, when coupled with clear intention, propels us onward, especially when challenges arise.
Without a clear vision to guide us, we risk forever saluting the sun without ever experiencing our inner light. Asana is one of many tools that, when engaged with clear intention and skillful implementation, can reveal the radiance within. Like any tool, the value is not in the thing itself but in how you use it and why.
Instead, this month’s love letter is an appeal to explore an approach to Yoga (also Life) that celebrates equally the journey and the destination. It's an inquiry into the ways that we hold tight to a fixed, idealized image when letting go opens us to following a fluid vision. It's a recognition that we are all in process and a reminder to see beyond the pose and remember that Yoga is a practice.
And finally, it's an invitation to join us this month as we celebrate our first birthday in our space. In addition to remembering all the steps we've taken together to build this beautiful community, we'll be sharing glimpses of the next phase of our evolution as we grow into the vision that has guided Mytree from the beginning. Because, as much as Mytree Yoga is a space, it's also a process that we as individuals and a community practice what it means to live yoga and love life.
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