When most people think of the word Yoga they directly relate it to a form of exercise, one that stretches the body, and makes you more flexible. Some would even say it's just a way to burn calories. Most commonly, when I tell people that I am a yoga instructor I always get the same comments such as; " No wonder you are so skinny...", or "You most be so healthy". My favorite is when I invite people to come try a yoga class. The number one response I get is "I can't even touch my toes". Whatever you're reason may be for seeking out yoga; the idea of yoga being just a physical form of exercise is a common misconception.
Beyond the asana (physical practice) of yoga lays much more; it is a deeper form of understanding ourselves, a science of the mind. Besides its literal translation of being "the science of the mind", yoga has many different interpretations which can create curiosity behind what it truly is. It can also be translated as "unity" or "to tie the strands of the mind together", this can achieved through single minded focus and the creation of an intention at the beginning of your practice.
What is it you desire to attain from yoga? Yoga can also mean "to attain what was previously unattainable." Consider this a metaphor for change, like stepping out of our comfort zone. Through the process of stepping out from within ourselves we are attaining something new and creating a new experience or perception. Here is where the practice of yoga begins. Through yoga we can study the science of our own mind stuff; control the mind through the practice of single minded focus which leads us to the creation of an intention that then can help guide us in attaining a new experience, thus manifesting a new perspective on life. Yoga is learning to live our lives connected to everything in this present moment, controlling our mind to shy away from distractions and learn to live in the now.
Ask yourself, can you control the mind or does the mind control you?
When will you begin your practice of yoga?