February 14 is Valentines Day, a holiday to show our loved ones how we feel. Love and yoga have many similarities. We are all familiar with the concept of love. Yoga literally means “to yoke,” to tie together those parts of our selves and our lives that feel separate and disparate, so that we recognize that we are whole.
In love we choose to accept all aspects of the other. In yoga, we practice to acknowledge and integrate all aspects of ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In both love and yoga, things may not go as planned, and we may recognize traits that are less than desirable in our selves or others, but it is ok because of love.
Both yoga and love are intangible, we cannot see or touch them, but we sense when they are present. When we talk about yoga, most people will probably imagine an asana class in a studio with a teacher and other students. A few of us may picture a serene yogi, sitting peacefully on a pillow in deep meditation. These are two of the many practices of yoga, but neither are yoga itself. Yoga is more complex than that. It is seeing and staying with whatever happens in the moment, with deep awareness and curiosity, whether in a class or in our daily lives.
When we think about love, we might envision continuous comfort and romance from a perfect soulmate or situation. Love is more complex than that, including parts that are difficult and uncomfortable. It is a journey, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, not a destination to be mindlessly rushed to and through. It is the choice we make to stay or to go. It is the field where anything is possible. Does this sound like yoga to you?
Another aspect of love and yoga is sharing with others, so please feel free to comment!