Recently, I have found myself thinking: Why do I do yoga?
I know how I came into yoga, yes. I was in college and came to take yoga rather haphazardly through a course entitled “performance elements.” All I knew about the class was (1) that it was offered by one of the popular professors in the dance department, Debra Fernandez, and (2) all the upper class men seemed to arrange their schedules around this course. So of course being the person that I was, I had to take the course.
While this story remains true, I have been recently wondering what is it about yoga that has kept me coming back long after moving on from Skidmore, Deb, and the social circle I was attempting to gain entry into. From what I have observed, it seems that I have remained an ardent student of yoga because the lessons learned within the confines of my practice, the small and incremental elements that daily test my balance, strength, patience, persistence, and sense of self, have helped me acquire the necessary skills to better perform in other areas of my life including all my relationships with myself and others. This truth is the reason that I continue to do yoga.
The question I have for you, is why do you do yoga? What is it about this practice – and its various elements of breath work (pranayama), physical postures (asana), social observances and personal restraints (yamas and niyamas), and meditative/introspective practices – keep you coming back? What need is yoga able to fulfill for you that nothing else seems able? Once you’ve identified what it is that yoga does for you, I would like you to fully acknowledge and appreciate that gift as you continue through your practice embracing and experiencing that nourishment as fully as possible.