Using the kanji representing the four trees that bloom during springtime, oubaitori is a Japanese idiom that teaches us that like flowers, people all bloom and grow in their own time and individual way. Every individual in this world is on their own personal journey of development. This is reflected in our yoga practice, functioning as a highly personal practice, allowing you to have an experience solely focused on yourself within the present moment. Yoga is being aware. Yoga is to look within. Yoga is here to create equilibrium between the opposing forces within our beings.
“ Yoga is the perfect and appropriate method of fusing body and mind together so that they form a unity which is scarcely to be questioned. This unity creates a psychological disposition which makes possible intuitions that transcend consciousness.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda
To me, yoga in its essence is about getting to know yourself on a deeper level, both in your physical body, but also in your emotional and energetic body. The practice of yoga allows us to reintroduce these two planes, to ground ourselves and reconnect with the most vital parts of who makes us our own individual. To re-create balance within, so we can better serve ourselves and others while on this human adventure together.
The practice of yoga is a powerful, all encompassing tradition. The practice holds the ability to change the individual’s life completely, but it also holds a power to change our existence and the world on a universal level. It’s like planting a seed within each individual person, to then watch as the plants grow and grow on a global level. As each individual contributes and evolves over time, we’re all raised up, raising our collective vibration and energy.
Yoga is a fantastic tool to get our bodies functioning in an optimal way biologically speaking, using the breath to soften, to strengthen, to cleanse and balance. Thru deep, controlled breathing, we can calm our nervous system, something very beneficial to our mental health. We strengthen the respiratory and cardio-vascular systems, helping our internal organs function at an optimal level. The manipulation of the spinal column is very beneficial for our immune system, and thru the healthy form of compression put on the bones while performing yoga poses, we can also reinforce our skeletal system. At the same time that the biological benefits of a regular yoga practice are undeniable, the spiritual side of the practice is what drew me to it in the first place. Thru yoga and meditation, we can reconnect with our origins and once again find balance within ourselves, but also with the universal forces. We might have a Western body, but the gift of this practice coming from the East, seems to function as the key to reunite and reconnect with ourselves and our truths, beyond this human form and society.
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”
– B.K.S. Iyengar