This month we’re all about International Yoga Day. It’s incredible that there is a special, UN sanctioned day dedicated to celebrating the tradition and practice of yoga across the globe. But what if we want to celebrate yoga everyday? Not necessarily with party hats and streamers, but some sort of personal celebration that shows our love and dedication to the practice that has clearly had such a positive impact on the world. We have a few ideas for how you can celebrate yoga everyday, and not have to hold your breath for June to roll around every year.
What better way to show your love and dedication to yoga than to practice it everyday? Don’t be intimidated by the idea of a daily practice – it’s really not as scary as it sounds, mainly because you’re the one who gets to draw up the blueprints for what this practice looks like from day to day. There are so many layers to yoga, from asana , or physical practice, to meditation, to just being nice to people. There’s no way your practice will get stale. And this also means that there are so many options for you to choose from each day for how you’re going to practice your yoga. Remember, it’s a practice, not a performance or a perfect. It’s whatever you want it to be, whatever it looks like to you.
One of the yogic philosophies is ahimsa , or non-harming. You may have heard a yoga teacher explaining this in class before, but if you’re brand new to this meaning, then we’ll give ya a little background. There are eight limbs of yoga, one of which is the yamas . Ahimsa is one of the five branches of yamas , as was listed by ancient yogi and author of the ancient philosophic text the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali . The sutras are, in a way, the rulebook for yoga. Patanjali says that this practice of non-harming is meant to include all actions, like the way we talk to strangers, turning judgements into positive thoughts, the food we eat, and the way we treat ourselves as well. If you were to boil it down into two words, ahimsa would mean to be kind – to yourself, others and the planet.
Take it Off the Mat
This is the time when some Western yogis start to furrow their brow at you and question how you can take yoga off the mat when you’re supposed to have a mat to practice on. Well, it’s exactly like what Patanjali was telling us about with the limbs of yoga: yoga is not just about moving your body on your mat, it’s about the way you act in and with the world. Be kind to people, volunteer, or choose to eat plant-based foods one day a week. There are countless ways you can take your yoga off the mat. Just give the Yoga Sutras a read (don’t worry, they’ve been translated) for some more inspiration.
Learn Something New
The practice of yoga is a never-ending journey. You can choose whether to look at this as a scary thing or a beautiful one. We think it’s pretty dang great. It just means that there’s always space for us to explore our practice on the mat, and in our day-to-day lives. There is always something new to learn, not just about yoga but about, well, anything! When you learn something new, you can apply philosophic yogic practices to that new skill, or even a new relationship. Take ahimsa , for example: You can practice non-harming while learning to ride a bike. Rather than telling yourself that it’s hard, you should have learned how to do this twenty years ago, and you look totally silly, switch your thoughts to say, yes, I am amazing and can ride a bike now! My determination really paid off, and I’m so thankful to my friends for their support.
So there ya have it, friend! Of course these are just some ways that we like to celebrate yoga every day, and we would love to hear from you what your celebratory practices include! Just hit us up at #MyInnerFire to share your journey with us!