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What even is 'Yoga' anyway?

February 9, 2018

Swimming, Pilates, Football, Knitting... scroll through any gym/studio/recreational activity list and you'll find Yoga in there amongst the rest.

 

This is exactly how I stumbled across Yoga for the first time; as another activity to add to my quiver of interests, another sport to perfect for my ever-competitive brain. Like most Jack-of-all-trader's, I spent the vast majority of my childhood rushing between gymnastics classes, music lessons, French club, netball, brownie guides, swimming, youth theatre... (the list goes on!); a life-style I continued into my adulthood with a hungry excitement for the new.

 

 

This is how I found myself

attending my first Yoga class. I expected this nice, neatly labelled activity to slot perfectly onto my shelf of achievements and become my new side project amongst side projects. What I wasn't prepared for was that you can't really put a label on 'Yoga'. After attending what felt like a million different classes, I started to realise that every single one was different. Every teacher had a different approach. Every style had a different name, or used increasingly funky descriptive terms. What on earth does 'Power Flow Vinyasa/Ashtanga Fusion Class' mean?! I rocked up to my first Kundalini class, sweat band at the ready, only to find myself sitting cross legged and breathing for an hour (stay tuned for a guide to de-coding class names!). This was somewhat frustrating for my categorically satisfied brain; I couldn't pin down why, what, or how, but I made it my mission to figure out what Yoga was for me.

After years of trying classes, self practice, experimenting with everything from Acro-yoga to Veganism to 'Om'-ing in Ashrams in India, I decided that actually, yoga isn't anything specific at all.  

 

Yoga is an attitude to life.

 

For me, Yoga is just a broad term to describe a way of living that aims to be the most positive human you can be. This spreads through everything - what you do, think, feel, buy, and eat; how you interact with others, the planet, and yourself. Yoga is about being nice to your self, free of judgement, and trusting yourself to make decisions that are right for you. Yoga is cake and wine and coffee just as much as it is breathing and stretching and kale-juice.

 

DISCLAIMER: I am not a 'perfect' Yogini, a role model, or someone with all the answers. I can't do the box splits or hold a handstand for 5 minutes... but maybe I will be able to some day. I'm just making it my main mission to live my life in the most positive way possible; for the planet, for my community, and for myself. This blog will be a record and resource for all things which fall under the beautiful umbrella of 'Yoga'.

 

 

Peace, Love, and Avocados

 

Jemima

 

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