Don't do yoga; be yoga!

Be Yoga

 By Claire Gordon CYA-RYT500

Don’t do yoga, be yoga.


These are the words I’ve heard again and again from my mentors. Yoga isn’t just a physical method meant for transcendence. It is a state of being that can benefit not only yourself, but those around you as well. Being yoga is the framework to lift the spirit of the planet. 

Yoga is more than postures, stretches and practices; it is a means to a compassionate, internal revolution. Yoga has the power to transform both on a micro and macro scale. The dynamic landscape of our world is the perfect platform to put this theory into practice. 

Commonly, yoga is misunderstood and misrepresented. Many view yoga as a workout regime or a sequence of stretching techniques. There is validity to this claim, to an extent. It’s true that yoga asana can be challenging and tones and stretches the body. But yoga is so much more than that. The Sanskrit word yoga comes from yuj, which means to join, to yoke, to unite. The purpose of yoga is to unify you to the truth of your being. 

To experience this sort of connection, first balance must be achieved in the mind and body. Internal balance will, in turn, create external balance in your environment by firing up ambition and inspiration. Those who wish to can use yoga as a means to make positive changes in their lives, such as turning the home into a haven or establishing a refuge in the mind. 

Being yoga means striving to live each moment with presence, which can, with practice, result in moving through the world with complete awareness of yourself and your actions. It grants the ability to respond wisely and with purpose. It means being able to listen fully, which leads to understanding. When yoga permeates your being, there is no separation from you and your practice spent on the mat. Each moment is an opportunity to further awaken, to further evolve, and to further expand the mind and the heart. 

Today, we are faced with many challenges that range from confusion between individuals to the urgency of saving our planet. During this time of unrest, yoga is not only a practical option, it is a necessary one. To have the ability to welcome each other, understand one another, and have compassion for others is a necessary ability. It is far too easy to forget the simple things in life: sharing, listening, breathing. But it’s the simplest things that will pave the way for cooperation and good will. 

Anyone, at any age, can become proficient at being yoga. It’s as plain as noticing your breath. It’s as manageable as listening without interrupting, as untroublesome as giving eye contact, as effortless as being right where you are, in this moment. Being yoga means enjoying a sun set and a moon rise, birds singing and the sound of rain. Uncomplicated and straightforward, the act of simply being has the ability to influence not only yourself, but all those that you come into contact with. The virtue of being is a skill that sparks and initiates a shift, first internally, then in our societies and finally globally. 

“Don’t do yoga, be yoga.” These are the words I’ve heard, again and again. Accessible, obvious, and undeniably true. A considerable statement to aim for, and the rewards are tremendous. 

Claire Gordon

Claire Gordon