Picture a typical conversation with one of your non-yogi friends or family. You’re trying to explain why this part of your life is so awesome, and they are nodding with their eyebrows raised. The look on their faces say, “Yeah, I’m happy you like it, but this whole twisting yourself into knots thing while you focus really hard on your breath and stuff sounds weird.”
I’ve been there. But luckily for me, I discovered something amazing. I have found the perfect way to explain the point of yoga to skeptical, sometimes nerdy, friends: Yoga is the Force.
Yoga at it’s simplest means “one-ness”. All this really is, is a love and appreciation for the wonder of life. When we meditate, we feel in tune with the world around us. Maybe we don’t levitate like Yoda (notice the similarity!! Yoga, Yoda, right?!), but sometimes it sure feels like it. We notice the birds singing, the sun on our skin, the moisture in the air, and the ants crawling past our toes.
When we practice asana, the world moves with us. We feel the strength in our bodies and are amazed that, yes, we can wind ourselves into pretzels, but also that we exist at all on this amazing blue marble we call Earth.
When we practice yoga off the mat – when we engage with the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga – the world is in our mind’s eye. We consider the world with our every action, and weigh whether it can bring more light and love to the birds, the bees, the bacteria, the trees, all of us together. Like the Force, yoga doesn’t really have a God, because the God is the world and the God is you. The God is abstract: it is goodness, life, love, joy. When we feel this running through us, coursing through our veins, that is yoga. You are one: you are not different or separate from your environment, from the grass or the people or the bugs.
When we practice yoga, the Force is within us and around us and is us. And when you find the Force, that is bliss.
May the Force be with you. Namaste.