October 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM
by Emily Brown
I’ve taught yoga for over seven years and owned Blossom Yoga for five of those years. Yoga comes up A LOT in conversations with friends, family, and total strangers. I could talk about yoga all day, but the question that stumps me every time is “are your classes spiritual?” or the hundreds of variations of that question. Usually this question makes me a little nervous and uncomfortable. I often responded based on what I thought the asker wanted to hear. I would even adjust the way I teach according to who showed up for my classes and my presumptions about if they wanted or didn’t want a “spiritual” class. But now, after seven years, it is time to make myself clear and unapologetically exclaim the absolute importance of the spiritual aspect of what I do.
The word spiritual or spirituality has different connotations according to how you were raised, your religious beliefs, and your experiences in life. This is a loaded word. I realized that is why the question of spirituality in yoga made me uncomfortable. I didn’t know how the word was perceived by the person inquiring. Often we totally miss the fact that so many things we do on a daily basis are actually considered spiritual. Spirituality is anything that nurtures your spirit. That’s it. Since we are all complex beings walking around in a body that contains a mind, a spirit, and soul spirituality is something we all need and crave.
Here is one way we at Blossom have defined this word.
spir·i·tu·al·i·ty noun to feel fully alive and inspired in response to a deep connection to that which stirs your soul
Spirituality is anything that makes you feel connected. It is anything that reminds you that you are whole. It is anything that makes you feel alive; anything that moves you. This is different for everyone. For some people it means taking a hike in the mountains. For others it means brewing beer. Yet, for others it means singing. It can be going to church, painting, praying, building, playing with children, knitting, drinking coffee with friends, reading the bible, or fixing a car. We all connect to our spirit in different ways!
So, is yoga spiritual? Yes. It can be. Yoga creates space and intention for your spirit to be nurtured. It is challenging to feel connected and nourished in the midst of a busy life. With a full schedule we can go days, months, years even without nurturing our spirit. We need space, time, and ease to be able to feel that connection. It is certainly hard to feel whole and alive when your body is stressed. Yoga helps us create that space in our day. Yoga is not necessarily a form a spirituality but a place that creates space and breath so that you can be reminded how to connect. For some this means praying while practicing yet for others yoga just provides a little inspiration to go home and call an old friend.
Here at Blossom Yoga we want to provide an opportunity for your spirit to be nurtured. Are our classes spiritual? You betcha! For us yoga is so much more than just putting your body is different positions. We want your practice to nourish, connect, and inspire you! So we are introducing the “Spirituality” blogpost series. Each instructor will write about their perspective on spirituality and how it translates into their lives and their yoga classes. We hope that this will help answer some questions and inspire you to explore your spirituality! May we be reminded that we are whole and spirited…