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What is Yoga

Yoga is Love and Love is Body Art

The universal answer, to the question, what is yoga, is simply-love. The textbook answer is union, a blending of mind, body and spirit.
Yoga actually means to yoke- to unite. Yoga practice involves all the elements, all the senses, the Self and the Divine, along with, and into the Now. What a scary yet incredible idea to try to put into motion, literally and figuratively! Just like how we try to balance during the practice of yoga, we must try to balance all the components in life.
The first night of my Yoga Teacher Training, my teacher posed that question to us, what is yoga. My immediate response was, it’s a feeling.
If you have ever had the pleasure of being on your mat, then you know. Either you felt it or you did not.
However, is the definition really that simple? Are love affairs ever easy?
I chose to do YTT because of the hunger I had to learn about this ancient holy practice that made me feel.  I don’t know what will come to be after training ends, that doesn’t matter.
After all, through my own yoga practice, I have learned that happiness is in the journey, not the destination.
In the Yoga Sutras, the first Sutra, in English means, Now, yoga. Now, the practice of yoga begins. Those words are powerful in their directness and simplicity. Now is the basis of
Yoga and being in the present moment is the core of what this sacred practice is.
I think we can all agree that to BE in the Now takes energy, mindfulness, extreme focus and self-discipline; not all of us possess these qualities let alone do we, or can we, apply them in everyday life.
Yoga is, for the people, all people, and is always available to us, in the same context as the adage, you can always go home. Well, you can always begin (yoga) and begin again.
Like a lot of people, I start something but don’t finish. I put it off to the side, in a closet, or in the junk drawer because, “I might do that again one day”. Yoga always accepts you back, no matter where you have been or how long you have been gone, just like home.
On one mid-July evening of last year, I found myself at The Body Art Barn for the very first time.  I had not taken a yoga class in years. At the end of class, as the clouds were closing in on the sun, the last few rays of yellow light came through the window, like arrows, bursting
onto our faces.  The teachers soft voice led us into our peak pose.  Standing with my eyes closed,
I was lost in the music and the warmth of the room.  Then I heard her say these words, “and this is called tree pose.” The word tree echoed throughout my head and I quickly blinked my eyes open because…. I felt it.

What IS yoga? It’s ALL YOGA. Yoga is love and love IS Body Art…beautifully complicated and interwoven like the human spirit..

Barn Blogger,

Andrea Kandel