Most yoga photos show big, dramatic, or graceful poses, often with pretty nature backgrounds or even sometimes contrasting with busy urban settings. I love yoga photography, and full transparency, I love those pix of the big, beautiful, challenging postures. They are gorgeous and inspiring. But I think it is imperative that we remember that the real work of yoga, and the real benefits of yoga, don’t come from these snapshots in time, nor from the mastery of fancy postures. The real magic of yoga comes from the deeper work. From the quiet, contemplative, and introspective moments on our mat. In those moments that don’t look so impressive on the outside, where we are connecting, not just to our bodies, but to an even deeper place of stillness, of inner peace, of bliss.
Don’t get me wrong, a strong, vigorous, energetic yoga practice is so healing and empowering, as it deepens our connection to our body and reminds us of how truly powerful we are. This is especially true for those of us healing from a cancer experience. I LOVE this aspect of my vigorous vinyasa practice, and am so grateful for it. But to me, the even more profound benefits of yoga are found in those quiet moments, deeper than the physical body. That inner peace and bliss can be found in a simple easy seated pose like the one in the photo, OR inside of a big, vigorous pose. Enjoy them all. Embrace those big poses and revel in your strength, but take care not to get distracted and lose sight of the simple, quiet ones as well. Just stay connected to that inner stillness throughout, and you will get the most out of this truly transformative practice.
Photo cred to my beautiful and talented friend, Emily Cesca Photography