Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions. ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala
Let’s be honest. We all join the gym in hopes of becoming stronger, losing weight, or maintaining a healthy fitness level, and the same transfers over to the yoga world. The first time I stepped on my mat, I did it for the goal of weight loss. I had gained more weight than I wished to acknowledge and thought that yoga would be the least painful way of burning those unwanted calories. Boy was I wrong. It was so much more.
Yoga is a complete pocket guide to life – an idiot’s manual to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, physically, mentally, and spiritually. What you do on your mat reflects who and what you are. Your mat is your life mirror – it reflects personality, fitness level, what you eat, how much water you drink, sleep patterns, and mood. If your mat is a mirror of how you live, then the practice must more than the physical. The practice of yoga must be about the equal distribution of these entities. Therefore, if you find balance, then you find yoga. Yoga is equilibrium.
Do your scales tilt one way or the other? Is there a sense of incompleteness, disruption, or imbalance in your life? Most would agree that our lives are constantly in some state of chaos. So, if this is a truth that can never be denied, what do we do with this principle to find a state of yoga? Well, learn that this balance can only be created if we understand that these unwanted disruptions must be constant if the scales are to be equal. Just important are the bad days as the good. Balance cannot be created if we are always in a state of bliss. Therefore, to find yoga, is to understand that chaos and peace are equally important. However, this is not an excuse to eat a box of Oreo’s every night (a personal struggle) or drink a bottle of wine with dinner.
To support yin and yang, you must maintain your health – which I regret to tell you is more than going to the gym five days a week for a daily run. There, I said it. Just because you can jog for five miles does not mean that you are in a state of homeostasis. Let’s put it this way: you brush your teeth twice a day and floss every night. Do you stop seeing your dentist? No? Your body is an amazing piece of machinery, unlike anything man could ever create. Therefore, in order for it to fully function, routine maintenance is required through regular health visits to your doctor.
Chiropractic is one way of maintaining your body’s gears. Because the concentration is on treating the entire person, not just the pain, we are able to create the physical state of yoga. Your office visits, with time, become maintenance visits, reflecting preventative care. Would you not say that this is a true sense of yoga?
So, have we answered our question, what is yoga? Yoga is more than just the physical practice. It is a state where we find our lives in balance. To be in yoga, means to be in health. To be in health, you must maintain your body through regular appointments to your chiropractic doctor.