The Coolest Yoga Pose Ever. {Photos}

Via on Oct 17, 2013

Nope, it’s not that one.

Or this one.

Or even this one.

Actually, it might be this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-14 at 10.42.28 AM

Or this:

Or maybe even this:

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

What does that mean?

It means that we’re only practicing asanas—from “simpler” poses like child’s to trickier ones like headstand—because we’re trying to remain in the moment by working our bodies and our balance, and we’re expending our energy and expanding our flexibility in order to be more fully present during meditation or even at the upcoming staff meeting at work.

Practicing yoga does not have to be on a mat.

You can practice the cessation of the fluctuations of our minds when you’re driving—you’re thinking about driving.

You can practice when you’re riding a bike or merely focusing on the sensations of your breath as it comes in and out of your nostrils. If this sounds easy, I guarantee that you’ve never tried practicing “real” yoga.

Ceasing what many of us call the “monkey mind” (our constantly churning thoughts that are floating through our heads) is absolutely not easy—which is where and why asana does come in.

On the other hand, I don’t know about you, but holding a tiny baby—feeling her warm, soft cheek against your chest; smelling her soft, sweet scent as your nose presses the top of her tender head—this can be practicing yoga. I’ve never experienced yoga so well in my life like when I hold my daughter.

Also, this might not be quite what we’re looking for, but feeling an emotion—really digging in and being with your hurt, frustration, jealousy—this can be practicing yoga in the sense that you aren’t shoving your feelings aside and pretending to feel something “easier” like anger. 

“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.”

~ Jim Morrison

So yoga doesn’t have to look like this:

Or this:

Instead, it can look like this:

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(That’s my husband “pond jumping,” by the way—he’s better at practicing yoga than I am and he doesn’t even own a yoga mat, just a few different bikes.)

Because yoga has nothing to do with a sticky mat—that’s merely a tool to help us achieve this mental clarity, peace and restfulness.

How do you practice yoga?

For me, I’ll admit, sometimes my yoga resembles this:

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More often than not, though, I would describe my perfect yoga practice like this:

newbio

or this:

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And I’m certainly not suggesting that motherhood or parenthood is how we all practice yoga—obviously it’s not.

Maybe for you, it’s cuddling your furchild or it could be any number of other things too.

All I’m suggesting is that we keep in mind, when we do finally step onto our yoga mats, that our practice doesn’t call on us to be self-righteous or perfect, “advanced” or anything else besides what we already are—just being with and experiencing this now moment.

And this new now moment.

And this one.

Namaste.

 

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.

Ed: Bryonie Wise

 

About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She's also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people that ever lived and she's also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor's degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer then make sure to check out her writing, as she's finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer's first book, The Best Day of Your Life, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and on her website.

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11 Responses to “The Coolest Yoga Pose Ever. {Photos}”

  1. Lindsey says:

    Oh Jennifer, another post of yours that I absolutely adore. This resonates really well with me right now because I'm recovering from a tonsillectomy, and the yoga that I am capable of right now consists of closing my eyes and concentrating on my breath, to separate myself from the pain that exists in my body. Your piece helps me quell the guilt that starts creeping up as a result of not being on my sticky mat.

    • Lindsey, you read this exactly right. Actually, I will be unfortunately in the same boat for a little while after an upcoming surgery. Great minds think alike! ;) Heal and rest up!

  2. Jane says:

    How many times have I used breath to focus my mind and relieve anxiety, fear, anger? Or, how many times has the awareness of energy moving from my feet into my legs, torso and through my arms and fingertips created a special infusion of joy and gratitude for a body that can and will respond to the mental command to move? Yoga makes us aware of the path to a calmer, gentler place. Thank you for widening our view of yoga and how we can make it a part of any day, any minute.

  3. Jesse says:

    Wow. *Thank you* Jennifer.

  4. Rikki says:

    Love this article!

  5. Laurie says:

    What an AWESOME post! xoxo

  6. Krissy says:

    Perfect.

  7. Bryan Harris says:

    Love reading and looking at your post:)!!

  8. LW says:

    YES <3 BE HERE NOW.

  9. Melody says:

    I have said for years, my daughter is my guru and most of my yoga practice is Off the mat. Thank you.

  10. This is so fantastic. And so true. Yes, Yes, Yes!

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