In the Sutras of Pathangeli, Yoga means “union” of the individual consciousness or soul with the universal consciousness or spirit. I recall reading the definition of this discipline and closing the book immediately. I didn’t understand a word!
Years later I found myself with my sister, studying Indian Classical Dance in India. It was August, the height of the monsoon season. 45 degrees celsius of sticky humidity while waiting at a red light at a New Delhi crossroad is a proven test of self-control. I remember standing there, the dull noise of my scooter’s engine rising to join the immense crowd of people and cows around me. A cow was laying down on the sidewalk nearby; its hot breath on my ankle added heat to my already steaming body. Drowning in a mass of pollution, dust and dirt, I felt like an ostrich, just searching for breathable air. Then it hit me. Union of the soul with the universe is what I need it to separate my mind form my body, and join the universal consciousness. That was the first time I thought seriously about Yoga. 6 months later , my sister and I joined a known school and started regular practice.
20 years have passed since our first class. What started as a way to warm up our bodies before dance class became a fundamental part of our lives. In our practice, Yoga is our personal Swiss Army Knife: sturdy, flexible and compact. Yoga is always there to rescue us from difficult moments. It is so forgiving that if you stop the practice you can take it back up again. And its best feature is that it travels well adapting to all terrains and circumstances.
Because Yoga is within you!