The Why of Yoga
Written August 03, 2013 by Sienna Smith
While holding cobra pose sweat drips from their brow as they patiently wait for me to call out the next pose. Instead, I ask them a question. “Why are we doing this pose anyway?” With a mix of laughter and grunts they look at me as if to say, “WHAT! You don’t know!” The question “why” is powerful because it requires that we have a relationship with ourselves, that we get to know what motivates and drives us to do things. That wisdom takes practice, presence and patience– All of which yoga can teach us.
You can sleep walk through your job or even a downward dog, taking commands blindly from your boss or teacher, but that creates robots instead of lively and awake human beings. Wisdom comes from your direct engagement with life and in a practice like yoga that is designed to bring awareness. In class while you are in a pose notice your state of mind, bodily sensations, and your quality of mind. Watch, listen and feel with a playful curiosity that is free of judgement and intuition and information will arise. Be presence and alert to catch it and harness its power. Allow this knowledge to feed you morsels of delicious wisdom that you can use to direct and guide your life for the better. At first, the inner wisdom fountain may feel like a trickle. The flow increases with practice as you learn to connect and trust yourself. With time your confidence grows because no one knows you better than you know yourself. You are the one relationship that will last your entire lifetime– it is worth your love and attention.
Of course yoga has been shown personally and through medical studies to increase flexibility, strength, energy and vitality. Less than five minutes into a class and I can feel that already. However, I was curious about the deeper transformation that yoga can offer. I have always been a skeptic. I want to know things by my own experience and not by someone else telling me what to think. I stepped on the yoga path 18 years ago, and my personal inquiry into why I do yoga has evolved over time. Through accidents, illness, and heart break; my experience has shown me that the best healing salve I have ever applied is yoga. Yoga is a love and truth illuminating practice that calls for nothing but my honest effort and full presence. That is it! Everyone can succeed in yoga with only a willingness to try and desire to cultivate a steady practice. This is key to accessing an unwavering, inner wisdom that continues to astound me.
Yoga has the power to transform self defeating habits into divinely aligned choices that benefit not only myself, but my loved ones and all beings around me. I have witnessed the powerful transformation it has made in my own life and the life of others. Yoga has helped me discover my own truth, root deep within my soul, and connect to the universal energy within me that is luminous and always present. I urge you to keep your curiosity alive, keep asking yourself “why?”. Seek your own answers and forge a relationship with yourself that will deepen with practice and allow you to show up as your own best tour guide through life.
Sienna Smith E-RYT 500