Close
Gift Card Welcome Lake Tahoe friend!

Can you help us? We are looking for your thoughts on planning a trip to Lake Tahoe in this brief online survey.

Your feedback will assist us in improving our efforts to better serving you, your family and friends.

By completing the survey, you will be entered to win a $100 American Express Gift Card. Your information will be kept confidential and used for statistical purposes only.

Take the Survey Not now Don't ask again
Blog

Practicing yoga in Tahoe South

Posted in Local Culture | January 8, 2013 | By Tahoe South

So, what is yoga anyway?

At Svadhyaya Yoga Studio on Tahoe's South Shore, we like to ask new practitioners what they think yoga is. It's always interesting to hear what they have to say. In America, the answer is inevitably, "stretching, relaxing, breathing, meditating," or "headstands and pretzel poses." I thought the same thing when I first began practicing. 

In my last blog I mentioned a variety of experiences that I called yoga. Let me clarify what this means. The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit language from ancient India, from the word "yuk" or "yoke." Having grown up on a farm, I know exactly what a yoke looks like and how it's used. When I first heard this word, the image of two large bulls forced together pulling a heavy sled came into mind. I think that a better translation is "union." 

634 - syoga2.jpg
A farm yoke is not quite the same as the yoga we seek.  My hometown farm in Oxford, CT

Most of us begin the practice of yoga with a purely physical approach. We show up for a class ready to follow the series of poses suggested by our instructor. And this series is just suggestion. Chances are, during your first class, there were many moments while you stood or sat or slumped and watched while everyone else easily followed the teacher and moved through the poses. And at some point the words "how the hell are they doing that?" might have come into your mind.

635 - syoga3.jpg
A good teacher gives suggestions and allows you to find your own practice.

The physical part of the practice is kind of like the appetizer. It gives you a taste of what's to come. The physical poses are challenging. It takes time to establish the balance and focus required to execute them well. The more you do the poses, the easier they get. Hmm, sounds a lot like anything you've tried to learn in life, huh? The physical portion (or asana) is not yoga. It's a step in the right direction, but even if you accomplish a no-handed headstand, you still won't have yoga. You'll have the ability to do a no-handed headstand.  

When you finally gain control over your body by finding strength and balance as well as focus in the poses, then you are ready to move forward. At that point, you have learned you have control over your physical body. You learn to move with grace, to control your actions, and you begin to notice how your body works. This is the first step and it's svadhyaya or self-study. You have begun to learn about yourself. 

636 - syoga4.jpg
Control of your body is not only about effort. It's also about being able to let go.

To bring union or to unite requires that you have more than one thing. If you've only been working on your body, there's only one thing on which to focus. If you've gained control over your body and now know it, you have to begin learning about another aspect of yourself. What comes next? The breath.

Jenay, E-RYT, is the director at Svadhyaya Yoga Studio and The Lake Tahoe Yoga School. She lives an active life-style and seeks Yoga in everything she does.



Search
Keyword:

The Landing Resort & Spa Celebration Package

The Landing Resort & Spa Celebration Package Offers Ultimate Romance. Lake Tahoe’s new five-star luxury lakeside resort announces ultra-luxe couples getaway

Details

River Rafting Special - Run the Rapids!

Kids raft for $49 on our South Fork American River guided morning half day trip . Monday and Thursday departures AND Sign up 6 or more persons and receive a 20% off discount on any South Fork or Middle Fork American River guided rafting trip.

Details

See more Tahoe South deals
Activity Tickets

Get instant tickets, reservations and information from ActivityTickets.com

V&T Train RidesSki & SnowTrail: Bike & HikeShows & MusicSpecial EventsGolfToursOn the Water
Email Newsletter

Sign up for Tahoe South news, offers, special announcements and more.

First name*
Last name
Email*
Zip Code*
Thank you for subscribing. We are looking forward to keeping you up to date!
Search The Site

Listen to the #TeamSummer jam!

Play
Stop
Mute
So Bright (Random Rab Remix)
by Vokab Kompany
55° Clear
Last updated: 12:15 AM
Webcam feeds across Tahoe South Launch
Videos
Twitter

Movie about freshwater sharks featuring action star Dolph Lundgren to be filmed at #LakeTahoe. The next #Sharknado? http://t.co/gSDQc5gBOF

3:50 AM - 1 Sep 2014

RT @SustainTahoe: Help #sustaintahoe at the #tahoeexpo & preserve #LakeTahoe for the future. #LaborDayWeekend http://t.co/YhFjfuxNoi

12:45 AM - 1 Sep 2014

It's a full day of fun on the #LakeTahoe Water Trail! Fall Paddle Day Sept 20th! http://t.co/G4UWsFiTgW

6:50 PM - 31 Aug 2014