Last night, my teacher ended the class by saying, “Thank you for being courageous on your yoga mat.” Those words reverberated as I repeated them in my mind.
What does it mean to be courageous on your yoga mat? Showing up to practice yoga is a feat in and of itself. A conscious decision is made to take an hour and a half out of your day to devote fully to yourself and your spiritual path. That takes a certain level of awareness and commitment to your Highest, best self, that part of you that knows you deserve to nurture yourself. Committing to self-care and self-love requires you to set your own boundaries and perhaps say “no” to something that does not serve your highest joy.
When I practice yoga, I am connected to that part of my soul that yearns to be in constant connection and union with the greater cosmos. Yoga is union, the unification and integration of body, mind, and soul with loving universal energy. It takes strength to look beyond the conditioned world in order to seek our powerful essence that knows no limits. Yoga, breath-work, and meditation provide the tools to still and quiet the mind enough in order to hear the small voice of inner wisdom & intuition.
There is no way to practice yoga for an extended period of time without the transformation of mind and body, the goal of yoga. If you go further down the path, you will go deeper into your consciousness and uncover the hidden fears and anxieties that you would rather leave in the realm of the subconscious. However, yoga provides the tools to successfully integrate the expansion of consciousness into daily experience. There is truth, light, and inner wisdom that is a direct result of a devoted yoga practice. To practice yoga is to be a spiritual warrior. Each time you step on the yoga mat, it takes strength, resolve, and purity of heart to fully surrender to the infinite now. Yoga challenges us to be spiritual warriors. The spiritual practice of yoga harmonizes, unifies, and integrates the mind, heart, and body.