Why Yoga not just a “Work Out”

Jenay Aiksnoras, ERYT500, MS Couseling; Owner/Director Lake Tahoe Yoga Studio

One of my favorite quotes is “Yoga is not just a work-out, it’s a work-in, too.”

Something amazing happens when you begin working on something new.  Whether it’s skiing, playing piano, painting or Yoga; you can feel that rush that comes as you begin to develop the skills necessary to accomplish the activity.  In yoga, we refer to this as Tapas.  It is zeal, energy, the desire to continue.

As we keep working, practicing, and learning more, Tapas can appear as though it is fading.  The task becomes more challenging.  Our interest decreases.  When this happens, we can become frustrated because it doesn’t feel as exciting as it did when we first began.  We want to be better, to feel what we felt.  We want to access what we had before or quickly become adept at something new.  The challenge becomes greater and the work more difficult. This is the point in our practice when it’s time to begin Svadhyaya or self-study.

Yoga can be tricky.  It offers us great gains, growth, and wellness.  Each of us has the ability to maintain and move forward on our paths.  However, as these tangible, physical rewards seem to decrease, the challenges begin.  We must learn to honor our limitations, push ourselves further and work-in.

Ask the hard questions of yourself.  Continue to practice even when the zeal begins to fade and it does not come with as much ease.  Begin to study yourself.  The deeper you go, the better you will know your Self and the closer to Yoga you will get.