• The thing about yoga today, particularly in the Western world, is that it is sold as changing the mind, opening up the mind through the body. In fact, what you are being sold is mostly asana or posture. Apart from obvious health benefits of a physical workout, what is the purpose of this posturing? We miss the other parts of this practice, which is actually an approach to life; the breathing, unblocking our energies, the contemplation, the meditation, the insight and release from suffering gained from learning about the philosophy behind ‘the yoga path’.

    Even if you are lucky enough to find a Yoga studio where you learn more than safe and correct posture, what about your personal practice; one that you can develop without an immense financial outlay and endless workshops and trainings? Most yoga studios do not encourage us to build up a sustainable home practice, one that we can re-energise with complementary studio practice when we need a kick-start, or to deepen our practice further.

    So now we have developed a regular and sustainable yoga practice. We feel more balanced, our focus has improved along with our health, even when the going gets tough we are empowered by having tools at our fingertips and a sense that we have the choice to take some action to relieve our current state. Are we using the state of clear mind and rested healthy body for what is important? For a born yogi, this will simply be self-realisation. For a born artist, leader, revolutionary, for instance, this will be their cause, their dream, the change they want to initiate in the world.

    We need to ask, why am I doing this? Is it for a bikini body, to find the right mate, to sleep better, to work harder or do I have a higher purpose? Through understanding the impermanence of our current existence, the fragility of our lives, we can use this as a deep motivation to live in a way that rings true to our being. Why wait till something tragic touches our lives. Instead we can choose to ask, ‘how is this practice serving my higher goals in the long-term?’ Or we can turn it around by asking: how can I serve life?

    Art Awake Yoga, 2016