Yoga: off the mat

Yoga, almost universally known, derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to “yoke,” “unite,”  “join together,” or “harness.” Hatha yoga is what we do on the mat when we bend our bodies into all kinds of uncomfortable postures to create more space and flexibility in the physical body while simultaneously contributing to a more flexible mind. But Yoga or union is as ancient as humankind, as we’ve always sought a higher connection to something eternal. This newfound space that we move into in our bodies and mind is not an empty void; it is part and parcel of an awareness, which broadens our consciousness. Yoga is a tool that is designed to join together our body-mind complex to our spirit, which exists within and without our physical bodies. Yoga aims to unite in spirit.

Off the mat, we inevitably entangle ourselves in all kinds of relationships, but do we apply the same yoga tools in our relationships as we do on the mat? Do we create the space within that entanglement so we can remain flexible and open with each other so that we can connect with spirit? Without that space, we can become rigid, self-centered and separated. Space creates love, as my Ayurveda teacher, Doctor Lad, was so fond of saying. In my view, if we’re not connecting with ourselves, each other, nature, and the cosmos in a common interest of love and compassion then we’re not doing yoga. For me, yoga is about interdependent relationships based on an understanding of a unified field of spiritual energy that is eternal. Yoga uses tools that were developed to train the body and mind, for something not ordinary but extraordinary. Yoga not only transforms the quality of our energy but also it has the potential for a radical change in the way that we live.

I embody the spirit of yoga in each massage treatment with the client’s well being in mind not as an end result, but as a starting point into the freedom and realization of what optimal health can feel like.

Please see my blog for information about yoga and its sister sciences, Ayurveda, and Astrology.

© Karen Elwes. All rights reserved.