Before this blog gets too far along, I'd like to explain my thoughts on faith/religion/spirituality. I know I'll end up referencing this as we go along.
The reason I like yoga and the lifestyle it embodies is that it allows you to cherry pick your faith. If you lean towards the Jesus faiths, you can do your yoga to honor Him. If you're Jewish, you can do your down dog in the spirit of God. You can even say Shalom at the end of your practice. If you're Muslim, you can bow to Allah in your Mountain Pose. If you're atheist, you can thank Reason for your life. If you love the earth, you can thank its mother. So on and so forth.
In the literature I've been studying, every single introduction begs the reader to continue on his or her own personal walk of faith or non-faith and to use yoga as a supplement to a higher form of living.
Higher form of living? What? That sounds pretty hippie-dippy, right? I know. I agree. But, simply put, "higher form of living" can mean whatever you want it to mean.
I want it to mean this: I want to take time out to breathe. I want to take time out to just be. I want to be able to listen to nothing and not feel unsettled and nervous. I want to, instead of jumping to every possible conclusion of every uncertain situation I encounter, be at peace with the unknown. I want to enjoy eating a tangerine, slowly, with pleasure, just for the sheer fact that it's a delicious tangerine (yes, that was for you, Joe).
But you might be different. You might want to find enlightenment (whatever that is). You might want to use the power of prayer to fix your problems. You might want to get fit. You might want to use it as an excuse to get an hour to yourself every day with no interuptions.
The beauty of yoga is: ALL OF THIS IS OKAY. Just don't use yoga to take over the world or kill people. That's not really kosher. The general public frowns on negativity combined with yoga.
So, walk on, homie. And go in peace.