What is yoga?
“Yoga is seeing life the way it is.” Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj”, meaning to yoke or join together. Thousands of years old, it is perhaps the most comprehensive form of self cultivation known.
Yoga involves a level of mental and physical concentration that results in flexibility, strength, balance, as well as improved functioning of internal organs, lung capacity, immune and digestive systems. It is less about contorting, or standing on one’s head, but about being present in the moment, knowing clarity and stillness. Yoga is about tapping in to our inner life force, connecting body, mind and spirit.
In the Kripalu Yoga tradition, as we breathe (flowing freely in and out), relax (softening muscles and mental tension), feel (open to sensation and emotion), watch (observe – neither grasping what is pleasant nor pushing away what is painful), and allow (accepting the experience as is, letting go the need to change it), we cultivate presence, discovering our own yoga.
Two quotes from the ancient texts:
“Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” Bhagavad Gita.
—–Franklin Shire is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher whose regular yoga practice “rooted me enough to consider the possibility of teaching. I feel humbled and grateful to share the benefits of this ancient art of self cultivation.” Franklin’s focused, yet playful, approach to the practice reflects the possibility of transformation through compassion and self-awareness. He teaches locally at Equinox, Infinite Yoga Center (Larchmont), the Yoga Sanctuary (Mamaroneck), Yoga Haven (Tuckahoe) and other private and corporate settings, as well as the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.