Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is yoga exercise or a spiritual practice?

I decided to sort of write this as a reply to the Yoga Journal blog YogaBuzz. They were talking about a southern Baptist Minister said that Christians should not practice Yoga.
Is Yoga exercise or a spiritual practice?
It depends on the person. Many people go to yoga classes to get fit and to make their lifestyle a healthier one. Me, I find that it is both. Yoga is my regular exercise, but it is also my spiritual practice. Meditation is a part of yoga. Meditation is yoga. And although I call myself a Catholic, I don’t go to church. I’m not a very spiritual person. But Yoga has brought me closer to myself.
The debate between whether or not Yoga is an exercise or a spiritual practice really depends on the person. Does the person look to yoga for guidance? Yoga is not a religion. At least that’s not the way I look at it. Yoga is a spiritual practice, but it can be collaborated with different religions. Hindus and Buddhists alike practice yoga. So why can’t the Christians or the Catholics do the same? If anything, it will very likely bring them closer to God.
I do believe that yoga brings people in greater unity with themselves. People look for that unity all their lives. Maybe they are happy with what they have, and they don’t need yoga. That’s fine. But Yoga is for EVERYONE. Religions can be nitpicky and they say that there is only one way.
From the way I look at Yoga, it’s not only God that teaches us things. We don’t only learn from the bible. God is in everything. Therefore (drum roll please) we can learn from every experience we have in life. WOW. Is that even possible? OF COURSE IT IS! Excuse me for being a bit outspoken today, and I do understand that this subject is a bit touchy. But, I have a right to speak, and this is my opinion. Anyone can practice Yoga. It is universal.
There are so many sides to the practice. One could just use it for exercise, or they can dive into the practice, read the Sutras and live it.
So, is Yoga exercise or a spiritual practice? It’s both. It’s up to you to decide for yourself.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Life is Not Necessarily a Series of Events

So, I realized that for at least a week, I'm going to have to be extra careful about my spending. At first I looked at this situation as if it was a curse, but actually it's a lesson. I'm not going to be going out at all this week, I'll be working my scheduled shifts, and on my days off I'm just going to pitch around and read. Sounds like quite a plan to me. I'm only working 24 hrs this week. So I can figure out what I can do with my other time. I can help my Mom around the house, finish "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Steig Larson, watch a movie, clean my room, listen to music, meditate. Today I went to a friend's house and studied with my little study group. It was fun. I am truely blessed to have such great friends that I met through school. I helped my dad do some stuff and later tonight I practice a bit of yoga. Tomorrow I'm going to work, but other than that I'll probably read. You know. Sometimes life just needs to be simple. Sure, the glamour and lights are fun, but just relaxing and taking in the world one breath at a time has a high of its own. Simplicity is what life is all about. Sure, it's fun to go out, but we can't spend money all the time. If we did, life would just get so dull. This week is about taking things one step at a time. Yes, I am a little panicked at the moment. But it's okay. I'll be able to pay for my school books hopefully by next week. For the meantime there is nothing I can do about it. And that is what being in the moment is about. Not feeling stressed about a situation that I have no control over. Live life the way you want, and enjoy it.
I guess what I am saying in my title, that life isn't really made up of a series of events, is that it's really based on what we choose to notice in out lives. Are we living, just to experience something bigger and better? Or are we living NOW? Experiencing each moment as it is? Because really, that's all we have. We can anticipate the things to come, but to be honest, that's not living. That's not happiness. So, life is not ONLY a series of events, life is simply each and every second that we breath.