• Kelly Tobin


Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Yoga isn’t about being flexible. But often people tell me that they can’t do yoga because they can’t touch their toes and because they are not flexible. Everyone has varying levels of flexibility and are more and less flexible in different ways. Some can clasp their hands behind their back but not touch their toes, and others, vice versa. But honest to goodness people, yoga is not about stretching, but often newbies think that if they walk into yoga I or another teacher, will try to tie them into a pretzel.

So what is Yoga about then - if not stretching?

Yoga is about returning to "being" versus "doing" which sounds strange because we are "doing" poses, right? However, while doing them, we are focused on "being" in the pose, and "being" in the breathe, and "being" in the moment" versus rushing from one pose to the next.

We are moving and breathing slowly and paying attention in a very focused way to how we are feeling. And as we notice how we are feeling, we deepen the feeling of "being" but not just "being" in the poses, and in the breath, but "being whole" and being one with others in the room. And as we link together the breath and the movement, we being the journey to wholeness, stripping away the layers of to do's and demands that layered on each day, and we find ourselves under all the busy and under all the other that is not us.

As we return to ourselves and peel back the added layers, we may notice and sense that there is that deeper layer, where we have things to heal and let go of, and as we move and breathe and connect deeper within, and feel our breath and feel our feelings we find ourselves finding and freeing stagnant energy in the body, and releasing pain in the body stored in the tissues and breathing deeper and healing, and continuing to breathe cleansing breaths into our soul.

As Pema Chodrun, beloved Buddhist teacher, author who has inspired millions said, “Practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. We recognize our capacity to relax with the clarity, the space, the open-ended awareness that already exists in our minds. We experience moments of being right here that feel simple, direct, and uncluttered."

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