“This practice is infinite – just like you.”
What is Yoga?
by Jenn Collotta
Yoga is the practice of bringing all aspects of our selves into unification. Throughout the journey both on and off our mats, yoga invites us to investigate the connection between our breath and body, mental chatter and lightness of our spirits, and the link between individual consciousness and universal consciousness.
This practice is infinite – just like you.
Originally a tradition of meditation, mantra, and rituals for right living, yoga has slowly evolved into the physical āsana practice as we it know today. The Sanskrit word āsana means “to sit” and it is what we call yoga postures. You can hear this word at the end of many posture names such as Tadāsana, Mountain Pose, or Uttanāsana, Forward Fold.
The system of physical yoga was developed from wise sages who sat in meditation all day, much like how people today sit at work for hours on end. These sages discovered they needed exercise to not only maintain their seated position for longer, but also avoid unwanted ailments in their muscles and joints.
Thus the first yoga āsana was created.
This was over 10,000 years ago and it probably was nothing like the graceful postures we know today. In fact, the postures we know today are no more than a sliver of all yoga āsana. In the Hatha Yoga Prādipīka, written in 600 AD, there is a verse stating there are over 84 million āsana. To put that in perspective, if we did one āsana, or posture, a minute, every minute of everyday, it would take us 160 years to do all of the postures just once. And what’s more is āsana, the physical postures of yoga, is only a part of the whole practice.
There is a saying in Buddhism that she/he who masters one path masters them all. There is no need to feel overwhelmed by how large this practice is because this practice of yoga, this practice of unison is about becoming one with it. Find a path. It can be a path as simple as mastering one posture or as large as knowing all the Vedas, or sacred texts, by heart. The truth is, in the end the path you walk is not as important as the fact that you walked.
Born in the heart of Boston, Jenn’s path to yoga began in college as she looked for ways to find balance in her life. She began practicing in 2009 and got her teaching certification in 2013. Since then she has taught thousands of classes as a full-time yoga instructor and has led numerous 200-hour trainings as an E-RYT.
Along with yoga, Jenn enjoys hiking the beautiful mountains of Hawai’i, which she now calls home, and being outdoors in nature. She loves creating, sharing and inspiring and hopes to do just that here at The Source Yoga + Wellness.