The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. – Buddha
Yoga, the act itself, is more than just creating a fire in our bellies and working up a good sweat. The methodical nature of asana, the moving meditation, helps to create focus on both physical and mental/emotional levels. All of our physical body, our muscles, bones, tendons, organs, and so on work together in a harmonious way to help us complete each asana and move through our practice. That focus becomes like an involuntary and subconscious meditation as each part of our physical body works together.
Consistent practice helps to train our body how to move. It trains the muscles so that they move as they are supposed to. It trains our bones to align and properly function. It also trains our organs to perform optimally on and off the mat. Our bodies become more efficient and much more peaceful.
In the stillness lies our heart, our true self, our inner voice. Sometimes, this hides below achy muscles or a dysfunctional digestive system or a chronic injury. As we breath into the spaces of our body during a yoga practice we fill each space with light and air. We illuminate all parts of ourselves and begin to see each part of what makes us whole and who we are. Sometimes we are faced with things from our past, good or bad. Sometimes we are surprised by what we find. Sometimes we are unhappy with what we see. Sometimes we have a great and wonderful discovery that makes us glow from within.
The point of yoga is to embrace all parts. To send light and love and breath to every single part of ourselves. Yoga does not require that we search for self discovery, it happens without prodding. Just as a flower blooms, slowly revealing the beauty of each petal, so do we discover ourselves. Through this self discovery we begin to see ourselves for who we are and learn more about where we have been and where we want to go.
Every illumination of ourselves, to our heart, is a gift! A gift from our practice, a gift from the universe. We might not always be willing to accept it, but in doing so we grow and change and evolve, getting closer to our true self.
During your next practice, offer up acceptance of self and welcome self love. During savasana imagine the warmth of a big deep hug that envelops your entire body ending with your hands lightly holding your heart. See the light and beauty that makes up your heart. Embrace and send love to yourself. After your practice imagine that light pouring out of your chest to each person you meet and embrace. Send love inward and outward and see the how it impacts your daily life.