Why Yoga?
Honestly, I don’t know. Yoga found me through Martha McQuaid just over 20 years ago, and for some reason I can’t intelligently express, it stuck. Why Yoga? You’ll have to ask Yoga to get an honest answer to the question. My professional teaching career began 40 years ago teaching music, and for 22 years, I taught music. 18 years ago, I discovered my abilities to teach is what I do best in life – not that I’m God’s gift to teaching – not at all. There has always been a resistance to teaching. Leaving music to teach Yoga was a natural progression, but a complete surprise.
Far too many find Yoga, but they can’t stay committed long enough for Yoga to find them. People find a reason to quit. Our clever reasoning minds can find a reason to quit anything. One of the primary truths I teach regarding Yoga is that we actually don’t do Yoga – Yoga does us. Our ego gets in the way of allowing Yoga to transform us into the people we are meant to be. We resist. That truth may be one of the hardest to understand regarding Yoga. We find reasons to quit before we even try. Flexibility is often the reason cited. We think we have to be flexible in our bodies, but actually, we only have to be flexible in our minds.
The better question than “why Yoga” is, who would I be had Yoga not found me? Any attempt at answering that question is unimaginable and I’m grateful I will never find out. Yoga is a daily practice for whatever squeezes us – whatever makes us reactive. Life happens – which is an entirely different topic I love to chatter on about. What makes life more challenging for us is how we react to life’s events. Most of the time, if not always, our reaction is what makes life even more challenging. Yes, it’s nice to stretch our hamstrings, but Yoga is far more than getting a stretch. We actually have a two-foot by six-foot dedicated space to work on being reactive – or not being reactive. This space is our yoga mat. But in order to win, we have to play. We have to actually put our feet on the mat to even begin to taste what Yoga has to offer us. However long it takes for each individual person is how long it takes. There are no short-cuts in personal transformation! I’m still a work-in-progress.
My teacher for ten years, Baron Baptiste, would say; Yoga is fitness for our inner witness. Perhaps the ultimate question is, “Who am I?” Yoga is the best method I’ve found at attempting to answer that almost impossible question – but that journey toward finding an answer is truly what Yoga is about.