Yalla Yoga: Doing Yoga Vs. Becoming A Yogi



Thu, 08 Oct 2015 - 11:38 GMT


Thu, 08 Oct 2015 - 11:38 GMT

By Sandra Shama Kaur, Kundalini yoga teacher and founder of YallaYoga

Many Egyptians are currently practicing the ancient art of yoga. Yoga postures are being modeled throughout the capital of Cairo by the young and the restless; some believe they are mastering the practice.

To speak of master would be foolish, for we are far away from its realities. But let's talk about becoming a yogi and what that really means?

At one point in my life, I also felt excited about being able to master challenging postures like head stands, back bends, shoulder stands or the crow pose. And my excitement translated into snapping and sharing intriguing photos of these difficult postures.

What I did not know back then was that yoga goes beyond perfecting the pose. For it is really about the connection between the breath and the pose. Consider for example the pace of your breath while in a challenging pose. Can you slow down your breath to four breaths per minute while standing in a challenging pose?

Then, you are becoming a yogi.

The next question is, can you slow down your breath to four breaths per minute while you are in an extremely stressful real life situation? Like a heated confrontation? During long traffic hours? When you hear of some chaos, like death, war, losing a job or an illness?

If you can, then, you are becoming a yogi. For a real life problem is nothing but a challenging pose.

The next question is how quickly you can relax yourself, by yourself? And by relaxation, I do not mean relying on external stimulants such as beer, cigarettes or watching TV, but lying down on your back and breathing long and deep while consciously feeling each and every part of your body that is tense and relaxing them through visualization and by directing the breath.

If you can, then you are becoming a yogi.

The next question is can you slowly eat and take pleasure in chewing food into tiny increments and devouring the juices before swallowing each bite?

If you can, then you are becoming a yogi.

The next question concerns your mind and thoughts. Did you know that the mind expels around 70,000 thoughts per day? So the question is, to what extent are these thoughts propelling you into action? Can you discriminate between a thought and an emotion? Do you have the willpower to put the breaks on yourself from reacting impulsively? Can you make links between your emotions and subconscious patterns stored in your cell memory linked to past traumas, memories and stories? Such an awareness and understanding provides you with the wisdom and clarity to know how to let these things go, so that they do not run your life for you.

If you can, then you are becoming a yogi.

The final question indicates whether you have attained the highest form of yoga. Are you ready? Can you sit at the dinner table with family, whether it's your husband or wife, mother or father, or aunts or uncles, and have insurmountable and contagious internal peace given the inherent gaps and differences in the ways you think, act and live your life?

If you can, then you are becoming a yogi.

So the next time you’re on the yoga mat, remember where the pose is taking you. And that is the path of a real yogi.

Peace, Love and Light.



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