Yoga, fusion and purpose

Welcome to this Spring issue of the Inner Sanctum Yoga Newsletter. I am sure we all are looking forward to daylight saving and the approach of warmer weather. Well done to everyone who came to class during our coldest and wettest time of the year.

This term we had fun exploring a few new ways to practice yoga. We had a look at Yin, Yang and Somatic yoga, all intertwined with some regular hatha vinyasas. I am constantly surprised at the never ending supply of new poses, and also at the new styles of yoga that keep on popping up. Some are more attractive than others, but despite all the fancy new words for ‘so-called’ NEW YOGA, I would like to think that each type of yoga has the same OLD central focus.

My interest in everything yoga has led me to reflecting on the purpose of our practice. Yoga is gaining more and more momentum in our society and is often mistakenly viewed as a new mainstream exercise option.

However, we need to remind ourselves every so often that yoga is not just about exercise. Practicing the yoga poses or asanas, is to enhance the flow of energy through the body and  to focus the mind on the body’s sensations. We use the breath to gain inner stillness and to activate our body’s relaxation response. Meditation, mindfulness or awareness is always an essential part of a complete yoga practice.

The purpose of Yoga  as I see it, is to learn about ourselves, physically, mentally and spiritually. With that knowledge we become better equipped to take responsibility for our own health. This leads us to becoming more balanced, healthy and compassionate people who are able to contribute to society in a positive way.

Another wonderful idea to ponder is this: Through awareness and contemplation, we get a clearer picture of the true essence of all things. This insight leads to understanding, understanding leads to wisdom and wisdom to peace.

I like to think of yoga styles in the same way as we think of cooking styles. To cook a healthy and nutritious meal, you can do this with a French, Asian, Indian or any other worldly flavour. You can be a purist or a fan of fusion cooking and I guess we all find what serves us best. It doesn’t really matter what flavour you eat, as long as the food is clean, tastes good and contributes to our health.

You may have gathered that I lean towards a ‘fusion yoga practice’. I like the creative and explorative approach, without losing the central philosophy. Next  term I am looking forward touch on the traditional ‘eight limbs of yoga’ while we continue to have fun with our practice.

Finally, I like to alert you to the fact that I am organizing another Sunday Yoga Bliss Out at the Yoga Hut on the 5th of October from 4-6 pm. The last one was booked out, so make sure to book early to get a guaranteed spot.