On our second day of yoga teacher training we met at a community park. We began with a short, chill practice which was really nice on the cool, end of summer morning. I felt right at home and a bit nostalgic because I used to frequent that park a few years ago when I had lived just down the street. The warm memories that were conjured up as my body moved through the poses only added to my sense of gratitude that I had found this group of people to align myself with on this new journey.
After our practice we spent some time thinking about what yoga means to us. Jessica, our instructor, asked us each to write down our personal meaning so that we could come back to it later and see how it has evolved. One girl’s initial response summed it up pretty well: “a tight ass and a calm mind.” But I went ahead a penned a longer version of how I view yoga:
Yoga is the practice of bringing awareness to your life by connecting with your breath and making a mind/body connection. Yoga is learning to create space in your mind for simply being and creating balance both mentally and physically.
Looking back at what I wrote even a day later I would already make some adjustments. We spent a large portion of the day learning about the Yamas and the Niyamas which are essentially a set of guidelines for how to relate to the world and yourself (or in other words, how to not be an asshole). I would say I have always spent energy on trying to be a good person and I would include this idea in my description of what yoga means to me – practicing yoga helps me to be a better person, encourages me to live by example and put out into the world the energy that I want to receive.
I look forward to seeing how my view changes and expands even more over the next few months.