I am passionate about yoga. I'm not what most people would call the passionate type. I'm sort of the calm, cool and collected type - detached, almost. So for me to say I'm passionate about something is really saying something. Among all the other benefits I receive from it, yoga makes me feel empowered. The idea that I can change something in my life just by how I look at it or think about it is awesome to me. A big part of yoga practice is spiritual. I don't mean religious. The philosophy behind the spirituality in yoga is simple: you have everything you need for happiness in life inside you; have compassion for yoursef and for every other living thing on earth and remember that you may not be able to see their struggles; and alway strive to treat others as you would like to be treated by them. Pretty simple right? I don't know how that belief system could be offensive to anyone. But earlier this week I picked up a small local "lifestyle" magazine that showed a woman in a yoga pose. I looked forward to the possibility to an article about yoga. Instead I found an editorial, written by the editor, proclaiming that while yoga is good for the body, "good Christrians should be careful in any yoga 'spirituality' that might turn one's eyes away from God." Really? I don't get that. The word yoga means "a yoking" or "a union" of the body, mind and spirit (soul). I can't imagine a yoga class without the soul. But it inspired me to do something I've never done before - write a letter to the editor. I'll spare you all the details, but I tried to (calmly and politely) share the yogic belief system and show her the similarities to Christian teachings. I ended the letter by telling her that if she and other Christians who agreed with her wanted yoga classes without any fear of spirituality they should have them - but they should call it by the correct name : a stretching class.
And this is what we worked on in class today (this is not me - I don't usually take my camera to class! However, that is me in headstand in the sidebar!):
photo from google images