Sit Still: The True Meaning of Yoga
Yoga has taken off as one of the most popular forms of movement in America today. Yoga studios are more accessible than ever, Youtube has made it so much easier to practice at home, and at your local Walmart you can purchase a “Nama-Stay My Ass in Bed” t-shirt. Like your favorite indie band that went pop, sometimes things can lose their sacredness once they gain popularity.
Anyone practicing yoga may have heard of The Eight Limbs of Yoga, this refers to the eight disciplines of yoga- yama (abstinence), niyama (observances), asana (poses), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). Although we need to practice all eight limbs to truly experience yoga, most of us only focus on one, the asanas or poses; this mean we are no longer doing yoga but just exercising.
Within social media and pop culture, yoga is beginning to be seen as just a series of challenging poses to take photos of but it’s so much more than that. Yoga is a way of life, it’s about finding your true self, the Brahman that resides within all of us. The poses are just a means to allow your body to sit comfortably for long periods of meditation. It’s not negative to promote and admire the asanas but it’s also important to acknowledge the meditation, ethical standards, self-discipline, breath control, and other limbs of yoga as well.
My yoga teachers often say that it’s the physical practice that draws people into yoga and the meditation practice that keeps them there; hence, Gypsea Yoga School has started a challenge for the month of September called #SITSTILLYOGI calling for yogis on Instagram to help balance the image of yoga amongst social media—with every photo of movement posted, yogis are also encouraged to upload a photo of complete stillness to accompany.
Join the #SITSTILLYOGI challenge for the month of September and you could win some Gypsea Yoga School merch, but most importantly, you’ll be helping to bring the practice of stillness to the Instagram community. Post a photo of what stillness means to you in your daily meditation practice and tag the photo with #sitstillyogi and @gypseayogaschool.