Sunday afternoon post: At brunch, I entertained an interesting topic of conversation with a friend. We discussed health, nutrition, lifestyle adjustments and, of course, yoga. As the conversation met its conclusion, something became very clear to me.
Many individuals who practice yoga in any capacity have an independent concept of what yoga is to them. And with that - some categorize the practice with notions formulated by their own (sometimes limited) understanding.
As we all know - Yoga is broad. Very broad; and different for each person that experiences it. It's personal. For many it's more spiritual, mental and emotional than it is physical. For some it is purely mental and physical. For some it's all of that and more.
As a fellow yogi - I practice yoga for several reasons. All of them indepedent and ever-changing. Our vessels and states fluctuate and so as a yogi who practices daily, my practice and place in yoga is in constant motion.
When I practice, yoga is the connection to self, to God, to my internal universe that completes my being; it's a vehicle of tuning in and conversing with self, the coalition of all kosha bodies, it's physical as well as meditative and more.
So as the conversation at brunch progressed, it eventually transitioned to yoga and weights.
My friend felt that yoga with weights was disconnected and not holistic or natural. They stated that they didn't understand how weights could be incorporated with yoga. It just didn't "seem right" he stated.
I began to understand that this thought process is completely valid. However, that thought process is in error when the veiwer attempts to apply that concept to all who practice. The way one person views or experiences something is not applicable to all views and experiences. The viewpoint is subject to the lifestyle they live as well as their own personal connection to the practice of yoga.
For some - weights have incredible benefits that assist them in elevating their practice.
Yoga with weights can emphasize the physical which is just as valid as any other connection to the practice.
The weights (utilized in yoga) can assist those who wish to build strength of the muscles and tendons, to further stimulate circulation and endurance, to check-in with the muscle tissue and cells, to improve the oxegenation of muscles, to address and build core strength, to increase and retain flexibility and bone density, to build the quality of self-awareness and so on it goes.
However, again some feel this is all capable without the use of weights.
My response to that:
Every body is different is its nature. For some - weights are not an option they seek. While some feel a more in depth connection to themselves. They feel they can have a deeper conversation with their body; and most importantly, a conversation in a different way.
Whatever you feel you'd like to incorporate into your own personal practice is always up to you. Engage with youself in order to understand what your body seeks. As long as benefits are present - you're always valid in your choices when it comes to forming a connection on a different level with your body while practicing yoga on and off of the mat.