When most people think of yoga, they think it’s about the flexibility of the body, the actual muscles. And while that is true, there is something that is even more important than the flexibility of the muscles, the mind. This is one of the first things I teach my yoga teacher trainees, because it opens their eyes to really see how the yoga works.
To find out if you need yoga, try this simple technique. Find a darkened room, and light a candle. Sit quietly, and gaze at wick of the flame. Try your best not to blink. When you can no longer hold your eyes open without blinking, close your eyes. Some tears are quite normal, as this purifies the eyes, and helps sooth the optic nerves. With your eyes closed, try to find the candle wick. The more thoughts you have in your mind, the more difficult this will be. At first, when I was taught this technique, the candle flame disappeared as soon as my eyes shut. As I continued with my yoga practice, I began to notice that I could hold the wick, even with my eyes shut for longer periods of time. This is because my thoughts began to still. The more thoughts you have going on in your mind, the less able you can concentrate, and find the wick. As you do this practice of yoga, the thoughts become more still.
So, when people ask me if they need yoga, you can try this and see for yourself. Yoga is not so much about touching your foot behind your head, as it is stilling your thoughts. People come in all ranges of flexibility. Yoga is really the science behind the mind.
Yoga is a journey to health, and the entering the quiet of the mind. In that, there is peace. In peace, there is health.
See you on the mat,