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Oh boy! Seems like there’s no end to the debate on the rights and wrongs, limitations, the age and ownership of yoga. Everyone has an opinion and reserves the right to be offended by the opinions of others (I’ve done it, too).

These days my view has relaxed considerably. While I still might think someone is stark raving crazy (haha) for having certain opinions (which they are of course, entitled to), I’m much less likely to get angry about it. We may not see eye to eye, but we can still be friends, right? Doesn’t mean I won’t get sucked into the odd debate though, *sigh*.

On the topic of what yoga is and isn’t, I really love Nadine’s latest post, since I very much resemble what she’s written.

But I was also reminded last night just how off-the-mark the perception of yoga can be from the “outside” (not even taking into account the fact that asana is only one part of everything called “yoga”). Sometimes this is the case even when a person has been to a few (or more than a few) classes.

That’s cool though; it’s kinda how it goes, right? In my first few years of yoga practice, I couldn’t have told you what yoga was either. And I’m thinking that’s no fault of the teachers I practiced with, because it can take a while to shake off the numerous veils and filters that cloud our perception and our thinking. In fact, I’m still working on that! But I do see yoga a lot more clearly than I used to. Which, y’know, you’d hope would be the case considering I’m now a yoga teacher! *giggles*

Last night’s conversation happened while I was at a ladies-only wine tasting session (because while I may be a yogini, I’m also a lover of fine wines. Especially full-bodied reds.). 😉

There was a bit of that “what do you do” question being thrown around, and when I mentioned my plans to start teaching yoga, one of our group asked what the difference between pilates and yoga was.

Before I could answer, someone else at the table piped up and described yoga as… “stretching”.

At which point, I looked that sweet young chicky in the eye and said:

No, yoga isn’t *just* about stretching. It’s a deeply profound practice that incorporates the body, mind and heart, linked by the breath.

But isn’t that meditation? she queried.

Well, sort of. Although yoga includes body movement, whereas meditation is generally done sitting still. But then, there’s also walking meditation…

And that was my five seconds before everyone’s attention span shifted to a discussion on how many pairs of shoes you really need in your wardrobe in order to be a) functional; and b) fashionable. I can only hope they at least registered the bit where I said yoga isn’t just “stretching”!! (heehee!)

So while those of us who’ve been around the yogic traps for a while might like to argue the ins and outs of the finer points, it’s good to keep in mind that there’s still plenty of people out there who have NO idea what we’re talking about whatsoever…

(Peace out, kittens!)

~Svasti

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