By Kohlbey Ozipko, Certified Yoga Instructor, The Yoga Room
The term yoga quite literally means “to unite”. If you’re a new yogi or aspiring yogi, you might read this and wonder: unite with what or with whom?
There is not a single answer to this question, but each other is as good of a place to start as any. Traditionally, yoga is very much a practice based upon showing compassion, love, and gratitude toward and for others, and this is true of contemporary yoga practices, as well. Due to this fact, yoga studios — The Yoga Room included — are typically spaces where one has the wonderful opportunity to connect with other kind, open-minded, understanding, and supportive yogis.
Yoga studios are also valuable for the energy exchange they oftentimes offer between yogis. It’s difficult to actually see an energy exchange take place. Yet, it is possible. For instance, a yogi might walk into a yoga studio in a bad head space after a challenging day at work but walk out completely revitalized simply because other yogis in the room give off positive energy during their practice; you might notice this energy exchange show up in the form of a smile, shedding a tear, or a big sigh of relief while unwinding in savasana (Resting Pose) at the end of class.
In addition to the fact that yoga studios allow us to connect with one another in meaningful ways, the practice of yoga itself also provides us with the tools to connect with ourselves on a deeper level than we are accustomed to in our day-to-day lives: the physical practice — the postures or asanas such as Downward-Facing Dog, Mountain Pose, Crow Pose — lets us connect with our bodies; the breath work — or pranayama — encourages us to recognize the constant input and output of life energy; and meditation inspires us to turn inward and become conscious of who we are as individuals and as a collective of human beings.
These ideas of self-discovery, self-connection, self-reflection, and self-recognition — basically just being in tune with the self, in general — may initially sound a bit overwhelming. And it is overwhelming. However, connecting with ourselves on a deeper level only becomes easier each time we practice yoga. Indeed, with practice comes the “unity” upon which the practice of yoga was founded: unity of the body, breath, and mind.
And if you get lost along the way, you can always look over at your yogi neighbor on the mat next to yours and just know that they are on that journey with you.
Just know that you are united.
The Yoga Room is located at 1204 Northwest Blvd. in Creston. For more information on classes, visit theyogaroomcreston.com.
Kohlbey is currently offering two classes to help unite her fellow Creston yogis: a TGIF Yoga Flow every Friday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., as well as a Saturday Morning Yoga Flow every week from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. If you’re interested in learning more about Kohlbey’s classes, feel free to reach out to her directly through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.