Ask people why they practice yoga and you’ll hear a couple of recurring themes:
- To get more flexible
- To build, strength, flexibility and endurance
- To maintain a healthy lifestyle
- To reduce stress
Yes, you’ll absolutely get those with the practice, but they are a gift with purchase. They are fringe benefits like the box you get with the chocolates. After all, no one buys the 60% rich, dark cacao for the cardboard.
Yoga, in a very real sense, has been seemingly repurposed, like the exercise bike in the spare bedroom that is now a clothes rack. It has this amazing purpose that is often forgotten.
Come to think of it, it’s more like your friend who has seen the pile of clothes many times and didn’t know there was a bike under there. Likewise, people now practicing yoga, or thinking of taking it up, are unaware of its great potential. They only see the aspirations of flexibility and fitness heaped on it.
Ah, but there is hope. We can go back to the source texts, like the Bhagavad Gita and rediscover what yoga is truly about.
According to the Bhagavad Gita, people come to yoga for different reasons:
Some come because of suffering or distress
Some in order to understand life
Some through a desire to achieve life’s purpose
Some come who are men and women of wisdom
There is nothing in there about being stretchy. Instead, it’s the realization that people practice yoga because they have experienced loss. They practice because they have a feeling that there is more to life then just collecting things. They practice to consciously be a part of the bigger thing that envelops us all.
This is the reason yoga has been around for thousands of years and is practiced by millions around the globe–because at its core it’s about being human.
Yoga is about living. It’s about knowing what’s most important in your life and acting accordingly.
Knowing this, it’s your choice. You can eat the box or savor the chocolate.