With all the debate over topics like yoga selfies and the types of pictures used to promote yoga, I can’t help but wonder if we are on the wrong path.
From what I know, yoga is supposed to be an internal and personal experience. It is about personal growth, change, and evolution into a more in tune and sensitive being. Topics surrounding the pictures that show or "represent" yoga are external manifestations of something we could internalize and benefit from making our peace with.
What You Look At vs. What You See
I’m sure we all have heard the saying that whatever you see in others is actually a representation of yourself. If we all took an honest step back and looked in the mirror, I think we would find just that.
It isn’t a bad thing. I believe this is how we grow, learn the art of letting go, and this is what yoga can help with. Yoga is the light that illuminates all your dark and dusty corners and leaves you with the decision to clean them up, or walk away. So let’s do some cleaning!
We can get so wrapped up in the external while we try to avoid dealing with the internal, that we forget to take the time to simply be. Once we slow down and reflect on ourselves, our being, we may realize that what we have been putting our energy in is not what is in our best interest.
We often overlook how the energy we put into complaining and worrying could be put to better use by maybe practicing yoga, meditating, or listening to nature. Instead of dwelling on the negativity, we could use the energy to self reflect and self-study, which is part of the eight-limbed path, a niyama.
Yoga as a Practice of Love
Yoga is not about judging others. It is a practice of love. And it is just that—practice.
Sometimes it is hard to love the person that leaves yoga class to answer their not-on-silent phone, or the person that cut you off while driving, but we try. And when we try, we are bringing our asana and yoga practice off the mat into the world and we help make the world a slightly better place.
Remember that what doesn’t serve you at a specific moment in time may be exactly what is right for another person, and vice versa. We are constantly changing, evolving, and growing as yoga practitioners. We may even find ourselves on a path we once judged or criticized, and thought completely unlikely for us to be on. The universe is funny like that.
So let’s withhold judgment, and if we feel something toward a path or person, look within and ask why. You will surely see a light. We all have our own paths to follow, and we will flourish as a community when we are surrounded by support and love.
I hope we never get tired of trying. I hope we all learn to let go, let live, and choose love.
Image credit/Yogi: @simoncisneros
Carli is a member of the DOYOUYOGA Community. The opinions and statements expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of DOYOUYOGA and Skyrocket Media.