If you are visiting this website, you probably have a pretty clear picture in your mind of what "yoga" is. You may have picked up a few incorrect ideas and might have stumbled upon some misinformation, but for the most part, your vision of yoga is probably true on the surface. If you practice with me, you will be exposed to experiences and information that will lead you to a more dynamic and enriching understanding of the ways that yoga can improve all areas of your life.
Let's shine a light on the truth:
Yoga is as much about strength as it is about flexibility. Moreover, yoga is about balance - not just on one leg, but between strength and flexibility, in body and mind.
Yoga is for people who don’t believe they are are flexible. If you think you’re not flexible, please come to yoga and feel the benefits right away!
Yoga is for people who don’t consider themselves to be “strong.” No one is doing a handstand during their first class. If that is your goal, you will get there with practice, but if that's not your goal that's great too! It's even better to simply just show up and enjoy the practice as it comes.
You will experience new things. You are empowered to make your own choice to either go for it and try them out or just respectfully observe them. Yoga is an invitation to practice and you can always RSVP "no" to anything that is too far beyond your comfort zone.
IYou've likely heard about "yoga" but you may have never heard the word "oggi." "Oggi" is Italian for "today." Yoga is a word in Sanskrit. If we are going to try on other languages, why not also incorporate one of my favorites, Italian?! This is partially to demystify Sanskrit, it seems ancient and unfamiliar, but we don't feel uncomfortable ordering penne alla vodka! Eventually words like asana and pranayama will be just as familiar as pizza and ricotta (when we meet, ask me how I pronounce ricotta).
Another reason I chose the word "oggi" is to decouple individual meanings/values/perceptions associated with the word "today" from what I mean when I say "yoga oggi" or "yoga today" so we can embrace a wider view with greater possibilities. Below is some of what what "yoga oggi" means to me. You might find during your practice that you discover more, personal meanings that arise for you!
Let's do yoga today! - (A little on the nose, I know!)
Don't feel compelled or pressured to start a whole new life and be a whole new person just because you are trying yoga today.
Don't feel ashamed if you missed your class yesterday, or if you haven't tried yoga before, but have been meaning to for a long time. You are only in control of the choice to come to your practice today. Might as well not worry about tomorrow either!
Yoga has a long history, we honor and respect it. However, I am teaching yoga today. I am teaching practices for students living in the 21st century with different bodies, different lifestyles, different values and worldviews. My most important mission is to teach YOU, right where you are today.
For me, the yoga I practiced when I was younger was very different than the yoga I practice today. Today my practice is transformative. It opens me up to new ideas and possibilities. I'm sure it will continue to develop and change. I will always be in love with my yoga today.
You can do it! It starts with a little bit of curiosity, a desire to find wellness and balance in some part of your life, and a tiny bit of courage... just enough to try it today, truly no strings attached. Chances are, when tomorrow is today, you'll try it again, and again, and again, because it feels so good! It lifts your spirits and makes challenges in your life easier to handle. It makes you feel grounded and secure. You feel healthy in your body and you're able to move and feel better than you have in a long time. You learn skills that help you handle anxiety and depression. You show up differently in your life and it naturally improves your relationship with yourself, your relationship with others, and your relationship with our earth home that bears us.
While a yoga practice might be an hour or more, you really only need to focus on it one breath at a time. Just one inhale..... and exhale.... you can handle that!