Stilling the fluctuations of the mind
I've been studying the yoga sutras with Nathalie Croix of Shanti Yoga Training School (if you don't know her, you are missing half your life). Sutra 1.2 reads: yogas chitta vritti nirodhah. That line may sound intimidating, but it simply translates to "yoga is stilling the fluctuations of the mind." Some call it the "monkey mind" that jumps from one thing to the next, never slowing down.
Raise your hand if that sounds like you.
I'll admit it sounds like me way too often..
I often find myself working on 3, maybe 4, things at once, and the reality is that I'm not giving any of them my full attention. Am I really enjoying anything if I'm not focused and truly engaged in what I'm doing? Not likely.
On a larger scale, am I truly enjoying life if I'm just jumping from thing to thing? Also, not likely.
This is what yoga is. Slowing down to notice things and not judging them as good or bad, but just noticing. How do your feet feel grounded to the floor? How does your breath feel as you inhale and exhale?
The old saying is true: sometimes you've just got to stop to smell the flowers.
Yoga is not about landing that perfect handstand, or twisting your body into a pretzel. So don't get caught up in all the videos and photos online of people doing poses that seem almost unattainable. Certainly it's great if you can nail the poses, but yoga is so much more than that.
It really is about finding peace and tranquillity so that you can begin to notice things and experience life as it is. It's that simple.