In her December newsletter, Anne Phyfe Palmer of the 8 Limbs Yoga Centers writes about why we do yoga. They asked their teacher trainees this question, and got answers like “because it feels good,” “it helps me to know myself,” and “sanity.” Teacher Jenny Hayo offered the unifying answer “to alleviate suffering.” This got me thinking about why I do yoga. I agree with all of these reasons, but I’d like to add one more that’s been important to me: yoga is a catalyst.
In my experience, yoga sheds a powerful light on everything that is going on in your life, often inspiring change. The mat is a safe space to work through thoughts and emotions, putting things in perspective. Really listening to what comes up when you practice allows you to see mental and physical patterns that are no longer serving you. Let’s look at the dictionary definition of catalyst:
From Merriam-Webster: cat·a·lyst
1: a substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions (as at a lower temperature) than otherwise possible
2: an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action
Yoga is the agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. A regular practice helps us make decisions more in line with our authentic self and not to satisfy our ego or external expectations. What changes has yoga inspired you to make?