About two years have passed since I began to practice yoga. I greatly appreciate the fortune to meet yoga at the age of 19, relatively early stage in the life. Yoga is not a special ritual performed only on the mat, but what is normal and inseparable from our lives. I will propose what The Life with Yoga is from one perspective of a practitioner who is standing on the start line of the path on Yoga.
“It is impossible to dislike one’s life itself.” This is a statement by Genboku Takahashi, the author of this book. We have daily lives, and we inevitably have multifaceted feelings, habits, and behaviors. Most of us must have undesirable behavioral patterns which we continue unconsciously even though we don’t like it. Even though we have some parts that we don’t like by ourselves, however, it is impossible to dislike one’s life itself, the fact that we are living and existing here.
Yoga is a mere process to reassure the fact that we live. On this simple fact, there is no any value judgement such as good or evil, for we can only say that the life itself is just as it should be. The keys to access to the life itself are body and breath. This is because these two things are always existing even when we are not aware of them. Asana (body movements, seated postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) on yoga are process to treat these two. And what we call yoga practice mainly indicates these two practices. In my case, every morning I stand on a mat, and practice asana and pranayama, then meditate a little, then return to daily life, and repeat them as one seamless process. I think this is one form of “to Live with Yoga”. It is very important to suit yoga for each individual lifestyle and continue non-obsessively.
First, there is a Life. The body takes a specific shape inevitably, the breath continues, and uncountable biological activities happen without our will. These process are essentially nurturing and caring. Even if they express as a pain or some diseases, they are parts of this caring process that life has. We can say yoga is participation to this fullness of life. We cannot modify our bodies beyond the nature of human body structure, nor hold and extend breath so long. What we can do is to accept them as they are and regulate them a little bit.
In asana practice, one participates to life itself, by modifying the body posture so that one can energize it if possible without distracting it. Then one moves to pranayama practice, to stay in one stable posture and concentrate on the breath, to direct the mind toward the breath that has become deeper, stronger, and more receptive as a result of participation by the whole body. Finally, one releases the consciousness that has been toward the breath, and merely sit in silence. When one gives up any conscious effort, meditation may happen. And then, one goes back to daily life with the life shining more.
This is how my yoga practice, a ritual to be with the fullness of my life itself, comprises. It was very lucky for me to bump into yoga the time full of wondering. Yoga will help me and remind me something important especially when I face problems. I every day practice yoga to be as a normal being.