“It is one thing to move your body through space, but quite another to realize that you can move space through your body using the power of your mind.”
Beyond the Physical
The yoga practiced on the mat is actually less about physical attainment and more about moving through daily life. Moving on the mat creates a focus on how we react to the obstacles and attainments of the physical body — the solvable problems (gaining strength and flexibility in the mind) vs. the unsolvable problems (limitations due to individual physical structure). It is less about the doing and more about the internal response to the body, thoughts, and emotions along with the attitudes that arise as a consequence of a demanding physical practice. That is one reason why my teacher, Andrey Lappa, always says, “easy isn’t effective”.
Resilience and Adaptability
To bridge any gap between the solvable and unsolvable problems we each face on the mat, we turn to breath. Breathing provides resiliance, internal stability and adaptability for the mind. It can turn a strong reaction into a gentle response. It can help us summon determination and vigor. Through the multi-dimensionality of practice, we can take a strong physical practice and pair it with a calm, non-reactive mind. We can then pair how we move on the mat with how we move through our day. Yogis practice with the body in order to learn how to be internally composed, no matter the demands of outer circumstances.
Asanas Contain Energy
Each posture contains an energetic target that gives the body the qualities most needed for a particular posture. By understanding the three main gunas (qualities) together with the sanskrit names of postures, we can decode the energy of any posture and figure out how to deliver the right energy from the mind to the body via the breath.