A few days ago I was practicing Acro Yoga within a group. As they knew I teach this regularly and I teach Yoga and Meditation as well, one of them asked the following: “well, but Acro Yoga hasn’t got a lot to do with Yoga, right?”.
This served as a hint to write these few words on what Yoga is to me.
I will not attempt here to explain in details what Yoga is, there are modern and especially ancient texts that are a way better reference compared to anything I can possibly summarize. And after all, can we really read what Yoga is? I don’t think so, to know we need to practice.
However, that said, I care to say what Yoga means to me.
The word Yoga itself means Union. When we practice Yoga (and I do not mean only the physical part, the Asanas), we practice Union.
The practice of Union can happen at so many different levels. In physical Yoga it can perhaps stand for the Union of our breath with our movement and therefore of our awareness of the movement (that moves with the breath) with the act of moving. That’s a first level of practice. In the same context we might experience what the word Union means, when the breath, the awareness and the move all merge together and become indistinguishable and yet distinguishable, they become one and yet they do not cease to exist individually.
Similarly, we might turn our awareness, at every moment, on whatever we are doing and therefore practice the Union of awareness with action in daily life and blend our awareness into our actions…
There are many deeper levels of practicing Union, for example the Union and fusion of Wisdom and Compassion in Meditation practice and in daily life…
When practicing Acro Yoga, we might experience the Union, on many levels, of two practitioners to create a form of beautiful balance that would not be achievable by ourselves alone.
For me everything is Yoga and Yoga is everything. If we look with our awareness, we are practicing Yoga in every action and we experience everything from that Yoga Place. If we live and practice unaware, dominated by our thoughts and emotions, pulled here and there without control, then we cannot recognize Yoga. Yoga is still there but we do not see it, we turned away from it.
We don’t practice Yoga just because we perform some gymnastic moves with Sanskrit names as much as we are not necessarily meditating when we ask someone to take a picture of our lotus pose for the social networks. Nothing bad in doing it, it’s fun, but let’s be honest with ourselves :)
We do practice Yoga when we hug a person with love and we Unite and merge with this person and with everything around.
This is Yoga, Yoga is this.
With Love, and Yoga, both and neither,