IS YOGA RELEVANT TODAY?
CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY 2022
On International Yoga Day, a big shout out to yoga teachers everywhere for sharing this ancient therapeutic practice in gyms, churches, studios, homes and businesses. I have respect and admiration for the talented ones that make teaching look easy! It’s been the toughest job I’ve ever had! I hold in high esteem studio owners who have the business acumen, people skills, flexibility and teaching flair to not only stay open, but thrive.
You’ve all spread the word, which is how yoga got started thousands of years ago. Patanjali, a yoga sage, passed down sutras by word of mouth around 200 BC. Word spreads faster these days - that yoga makes people feel good! Who doesn’t want to feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically and spiritually? Now before you stop reading because I mentioned ‘spiritually’, it means different things to us all – it could be admiration for mother nature, appreciation of art, feeling a deeper connection to yourself and others, or sensing that there’s something greater than ourselves out there.
On this day, let’s celebrate the Sutras. Yoga isn’t just poses on the mat, or something that happens for an hour in a studio, but something we can take into our daily life. Sutras are basically essential advice for daily living, as relevant today as they were in 200BC. Patanjali’s guidelines included non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, non-greed, cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study and acceptance, leading us to enhanced emotional and mental well-being, bringing greater happiness and spiritual fulfilment for the individual. The personal benefits also radiate to people around us. Simplistically, the yoga sutras are designed to lead us, step-by-step, toward everlasting contentment.
Is yoga relevant today? I could also ask if people today want the physical benefits of yoga - a stronger, more flexible body, improved balance and to feel more energy? And the mental benefits of peace of mind, improved concentration and steadier emotions? The answer is yes. Times may have changed, but people have not. What was important for people thousands of years ago is what they still want to feel today. Happier. More content. And maybe yoga is the way.