Yoga is art. Yoga is a way of life. Yoga is a practice where I meet myself with completely new eyes every day. Yoga is how I understand myself. And it is also how I let go of all attempts to understand anything. Yoga is all of these things, and it is none of these things. Like the Tao, the Yoga that can be named is no longer Yoga. Yoga is the thing I hold most sacred, and it has been my most personal temple for the last 18 years.
I am profoundly fortunate to walk a path that is graced with the teachings of Yoga. I am particularly grateful to have met with a method of Hatha Yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. He received the teachings of Yoga from his Guru (for whom he was named) Sri T. Krishnamacharya. As Iyengar progressed as a teacher, he found that Westernized culture created a population who could not directly experience the Āsana, or posture, and its benefits. . . at least not at first. In response to this reality, Mr. Iyengar developed ways of utilizing props to bring the full benefit of each Āsana to practitioners of all abilities and levels of practice.
He also found that many people in treatment with Western medicine for ailments and accidents were given dire prognoses – a lifetime restricted to a wheelchair, dependence on pharmaceuticals, or eventual full loss of hearing – all of which could be alleviated and fully healed with a dedicated Yoga practice. Iyengar’s own daughter, Geeta suffered many illnesses as a child, which led to nephritis (acute inflammation of the kidneys) by the age of 10. She escaped a life of heavy medications and most likely a shortened life because she chose Yoga. He knew that a dedicated Yoga practice could heal, reverse and eliminate his daughter’s nephritis and countless other conditions, allowing for a vibrant and healthy life.
There are certain things that a consistent yoga practice can bring to life:
- Bodily strength, flexibility and stamina
- Mental strength, flexibility and stamina
- Balanced endocrine and nervous systems
- Expanded Mind-Body connection
- Expanded conscious awareness of the true nature of reality
- Healing of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual traumas
- Contentment and joy
- Compassion and gratitude
- Greater trust of self and intuition
- A strong sense of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual balance
Are these things listed above guaranteed to you if you practice regularly? No. But they are so very likely to enter your life, especially if you desire them and you work every day to allow Yoga to create this space in your life.
It is my most cherished honor to share the light of the knowledge of Yoga with anyone who seeks greater balance and the full wholeness of a life well lived.
— Emily Sat Sukh Peters