LIZ KING / PHOTOS BY ABBEY GARLICK
Alright, y’all. Maybe you’ve noticed the multitude of yoga studios around downtown or perhaps you’ve been driving by the square and witnessed bodies twisting and contorting together on the Courthouse lawn. What the heck is going on and what is this “yoga” that seems to have invaded our wonderful city? I’m Liz King – a Denton native and manager and teacher at Authentic Yoga Life – and I’m here to break down this whole yoga thing and WTF it actually means for our Denton community.
If you ask random people on the street what they think yoga is, you will get a million and one different answers. Traditionally, in ancient Hindu philosophy, yoga means “to yoke,” to bring together, to form a union. This could be a joining of anything you can imagine but in ancient yogic texts this means anything uniting the body with the mind, the physical with the spiritual.
Wait. What? I thought yoga was people pretending to be pretzels at gyms and parks and stuff?
Depending on who you ask and what type of yoga they have been exposed to, if any at all, you could potentially receive a wide array of answers including but not limited to ancient Hindu gods and goddesses, daily religious traditions and rituals, doing breathing exercises, going on a walk, or getting a good stretch or workout at a studio or gym. Long answer short – what yoga is and how you practice it varies from person to person.
If you are being present and fully aware in any exact moment – you are practicing yoga. If you are noticing different things about your body and breath – you’re practicing yoga. If you are mindfully enjoying the world around you – you’re practicing yoga.
It doesn’t matter what brand of yoga pants you have, what gender you are, how physically active you are, or what kind of diet you have. In fact, you can eat all the meat or tofu you want and both are equally cool! If you are simply being present, with your breath and body, and finding some sort of gratitude for life in whatever way possible – you’re practicing yoga.
Who knew, right? Are you learning that you’ve been a yogi for years and didn’t even know it? Surprise!
If any of this tickles your fancy then buckle up because in upcoming columns I’ll be exploring WTF yoga means to Denton and how the Denton yoga community is creating an even happier and healthier home for all ofus here in the Lil’D. Namaste, y’all!