Yoga beyond the posesJuly 23, 2023 11:23 am
Emma Arscott writes about yoga beyond the poses. There is so much more to the yoga practice than the shapes we make with our bodies. The physical aspect is often what brings many of us to the practice but ultimately each time we arrive on our mat we are deepening the connection to all of the layers of ourselves.
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued — when they can give and receive without judgment.” — Brene Brown
The essence of yoga is connection, in fact the word yoga means unity. It teaches us connection of breath to movement. Connection between mind, body & soul. Connection to our dharma, our purpose in life. Connection to the truest part of ourselves that is pure love and compassion. Connection to all other beings and the realisation that we all share the same fundamental needs.
When we first come to the practice, we establish a reconnection to our body. Many of us are led by the thoughts & stories of the mind and become disconnected from our bodies. We also learn to connect our breath to movement which connects us to our nervous system. It is the relationship with the breath that makes this practice so much more than movement. We use the breath to train our nervous system to breathe through the challenges we meet on the mat, so when we face challenges off of the mat we can choose to pause, breathe and respond rather than react. This is where the magic of the yoga practice goes way beyond the poses and trickles into all aspects of our daily life.
When we feel connected to ourselves and cultivate a level of self-acceptance and compassion, we are then able to live in a more unified way. Living in a unitive state is not an esoteric concept, and it is not an elusive higher realm that only some people can aspire to. We are all filled with an unbound potential to open our hearts to feel tenderness, joy & sorrow without shutting down or pushing anything away. We can make space for all of the richness that life has to offer without needing to strive for what we believe to be good and run from what we believe to be bad. We can learn to move away from judgement and separation and in doing so we can learn to sit with & breathe through whatever is and take action in a more responsive and less reactive way. The practice of yoga goes way beyond the poses and shapes we make and allows us to live and love in a more connected & united way
Yoga means union, and through this practice, we can cultivate connections that positively impact all aspects of ourselves and lives. These connections are so needed in the world that advocates superficial, online social interactions that can ironically leave us feeling lonelier and more isolated.
Yoga is an opportunity to form a connection with people. Specifically, like-minded people that we share core values and interests with. This is one of the many reasons I love to lead a group on retreat. It creates a space for meaningful connection, healing & transformation. For the duration of the retreat, we are together as a collective community. Everyone comes to retreat for different reasons and needs, some for time and space that is just for them, some for deep healing and some purely for the love of yoga. Whatever brings people to a retreat they all share the same practices & rituals to feel more connected to themselves, each other and the world that we live in. It is a truly beautiful thing to witness and be a part of. If you feel the call to carve out some time and space that is just for you, it would be my absolute pleasure to hold space for you and be your guide.
If you would like to join Emma you can see her upcoming retreats here.