On the 21 June 2019 I got up at 4.30am (which is not a common occurrence for me!) and headed down the coast to take part in Govinda Valleys’ International Yoga Day celebrations, kicking off with a 108 sun salutations overlooking the Pacific ocean.
Looking out over the rolling waves of the ocean, we flowed through our sun salutations, waking up the body, settling into our breath…and defrosting our toes and fingers (June is winter here in Australia!)
The rest of the day was a festival of all things yoga, with thought provoking talks from speakers such as Michael de Manicor, moreish vegan food to keep our fuel tanks topped up, and a fantastic little yoga market where Seeds of Wonder got to set up its first ever market stall!
It was a beautiful day, shared with lots of likeminded souls, all as passionate about yoga as I am…
But a friend got me thinking. When I mentioned I was going along to an International Yoga day event her reply was that every day is a day of yoga.
I get her point. Yoga is a way of being, a way of thinking and a way of living that touches all parts of our day, every day.
Off our mats (or mediation bolsters!), yoga guides us in our thoughts and actions.
Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga are an example of this. These eight limbs show us how to extend our yoga practice beyond the yoga poses, giving us a framework for living that include a set of ethical guidelines known as the Yamas and the Niyamas.
The five Yamas counsel us to avoid violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy, and possessiveness.
The five Niyamas teach us to embrace cleanliness (internally and externally), to practice contentment, to purify ourselves through heat, encourage us to be lifelong learners, and to surrender to something greater than ourselves.
I try to live by these guidelines every day. While I miss the mark often, combined with my yoga practice on the mat (which I wish I could say was every day but I would be telling porkies!), they help me feel that I am living a life aligned with my values and my heart.