Yoga as a Discipline
If you refer to an activity or situation as a discipline, you mean that, in order to be successful in it, you need to behave in a strictly controlled way and obey particular rules or standards.
Yoga and its now popularity have led Yoga to become more and more mainstream. This I see as a positive thing as it means more and more are practicing yoga.
Where I feel with this dilution of the traditional side of yoga, possibly things have gone a bit wrong is with people doing yoga in gyms with the intention of it being a workout often taught by someone who is a fitness trainer come now "Yoga teacher" I realize this is quite a claim to make and really all I am saying is that be aware of who is teaching you and be aware of what your expectations are for You and Yoga.
The danger comes when you couple that above, with our 'no pain, no gain’ culture which encourages students to push themselves too far and too fast.
The situation is exacerbated by the toxic need for self-validation on social media. Facebook feeds are riddled with injurious poses which may look impressive in silhouette and sundown, but make trained yoga teachers wince.
The aim of yoga really is to find space. Space in your body, space in your mind where you might breath and feel moments of your practice being a Meditation in Motion.
I do think Yoga is a discipline and one that I have over 23 years been practicing with all its ups and downs along the way. But I will say that to me, a discipline is not something that I force upon myself. It is something that I cultivate and which arises in me as a result of two things: my clarity of intention and my commitment.
In order to have clarity of intention I have had to look at why over all these years have I kept doing yoga. Has it been to stretch out my body, loosen my hamstrings, tone up my body, build strength in a low impact manor, bring more mindfulness into my life, or to create a healthier body and mind - Why?
One of the great things I read was - Yoga is a practice not only of action but also of observation and faith. When we observe our resistance to practice and then choose to act anyway, our practice becomes an expression of our faith in yoga-a faith that comes from both our past experience and trust that our practice will sustain us as we jump into the unknown.
I love that. For me I practice purely now because it makes me feel good.... I feel more grounded, more alive, definitely healthier, and also, yes Yoga has very much kept me in great shape. I practice knowing that each day it will be different. Sometimes it will flow and feel fresh and almost easy and other days it will feel like I'm out of breath falling over and know nothing, but then that is the beauty of a discpline, we are always working on becoming more disciplined in our discipline.
Yoga teaches determination, patience, endurance and an understanding and respect for your body.