Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Living Yoga Off the Mat

Yoga is Unity.

The study of yoga, is the study of unity.

When we, in the West, study yoga, we often mean that we study poses, or asanas. Asanas are a part of hatha yoga, but by no means, its entirety.

Asana based yoga focuses on learning poses, and people are often drawn to it for the positive physical effects of disciplined training. They may, at a later date, discover other positive side effects from practicing asanas.

In contrast, the concept of living yoga off the mat is taking the philosophy of yoga (its foundation stone of unity) with us, even when we roll up our mat. This concept is for people who are interested in putting the theory of unity into ‘real life’.

It includes the study of the self in relationship to itself, the family, friends, society and the world. It includes the study of unity with regards to the environment, politics, sociology, science and religion. It is, in the broadest terms, the study of the application of unity to life itself.

Unity does seem to infer the concept of integral ‘oneness’ or wholeness at some stage of existence.

However, if we are to deal with the reality of the sense of ‘self’ that we experience, the sense of our own individuality, then we need to come to an understanding of how to bridge the gap between me and you, rather than to go into further discussions about why and how we feel isolated. At this point in time, this blog needs to set some boundaries for its expression. There are many other places to discover the why and how of the individual’s sense of isolation.

This idea, of living the philosophy of yoga, is for people who already believe in the philosophy of yoga, and wish to learn, to discuss, to create and be the embodiment of their belief.

I’ll label future posts dealing with this subject as ‘off the mat’.

I created a group on facebook called 'Living Yoga Off The Mat'. If this topic seems relevant to you, consider yourself invited. You need to be signed in to facebook to access this link.

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