What is yoga, really?
Up until a few weeks ago, had I been asked that question, I would have referenced the physical practice that I do a few times a week, typically with a class in a studio or following a video at home. My answer to what is a yogi? Easy, someone that practices yoga, whether in a studio or at home.
I don’t think I’m alone with that perception of yoga or yogis, but since sitting down with Dariya, I have learned that my previous perception wasn't fully accurate, because asana, the physical practice, only encompasses a fraction of what yoga is - one eighth, to be exact.
When we roll out our mats, and flow through sequences, whether alone or in a group, we are practicing yoga. However, what many of us do not know is that we are all likely inadvertently practicing yoga much more frequently than the times we roll out our mats because yoga is not limited to postures, a mat, or a studio.
Dariya, who is our conscious kind of feature, and friend, is someone that truly substantiates this in her way of thinking, acting and interacting, and can teach us all a thing, or eight, about our practice, and consequently, lives.
I first met Dariya at an asana practice she was teaching in a park near my home, and over the past few months I’ve been able to get to know her, and learn to understand how the eight limbs of yoga can manifest themselves in everything we do, every day.
Her way of thinking, behaviour and actions are embodiments of her practice both on and off her mat, and her teaching extends far beyond the walls of any studio. She practices yoga in its eight limbs throughout her day to day, and is always, inadvertently, helping those around her do the same.
Hearing Dariya discuss yoga, and its eight limbs, is simultaneously humbling and inspiring. Humbling because she creates an area of comfort and a dialogue that help us to uncover our opportunities to grow. Inspiring because these opportunities ignite a desire to challenge ourselves, discover, and then, ironically, grow to leave the area of comfort she created.
Thankfully, Dariya will be expanding from her repertoire of weekly asana classes, and will be launching her all-levels workshop intended to help us all understand: What is Yoga, really?
Its perfect for those wanting to learn more about the holistic definition of yoga, obtain tools for to integrate the practice in the time spent off their mats, or anyone that just wants to learn more about breathing, meditation, mindful living or journalling.
The physical practice that is asana is a single limb of yoga, and being made aware of the other seven makes us realize how far beyond a mat a conscious kind of practice can take us. Dariya, and her teachings help us take this one step further, and help uncover the kind of person that we can be, regardless of the flow of our lives.
For more information on the "What is Yoga, Really?" workshop, visit her website and reach out! To keep up with what she is up to in the Ottawa region with OMunity Yoga, check out her Facebook page, or Instagram, for the most up-to-date information and daily inspiration.