Yoga & Spirituality the common misconception
Within the yoga community I often hear the phrase ‘I am spiritual’, which confuses me a little because I feel that this statement can be used to differentiate ourselves from others rather than connect us....which obviously is the opposite to what yoga is.
‘I am not spiritual, I am spirit’.....really all that I have is my soul and I think the same applies to all of us. Just because I do a few more backbends than you does that make me more spiritual? absolutely not. Due to the fact I drink coconut water and love hot yoga does that make me more spiritual? of course not. If I am vegan and love a green smoothie for breakfast does that make me more spiritual than you? no, why would it? It could be argued that all of the above life choices are related to material & physical things while spirituality is immaterial and none physical.
Yoga when practiced with mindfulness connects to spirit but just because you practice yoga does not make you superior spiritually in any way.....in-fact if your yoga is authentic it will make you more humble, less judge-mental and on the whole more at one with others and their spirits, so the term ’spiritual’ should be as obvious as ‘I am human’ because that is what we all are.
It has been my experience that people’s connection to spirit cannot be measured by the amount of yoga classes they have done, but instead by the amount of gratitude, grace and compassion a person has. Some people are very lucky and it comes natural to them, while others have to work for it....which is a skill in itself, and to stay graceful in challenging times is when the human spirit shines through the most.
In my experience, sometimes Yoga can lead a person on the path to self obsession instead of the karmic path of serving others. As spirits we are all here to connect and grow together as equals, so assuming we are spiritual and someone else is not is taking the whole foundation away from our practice.
Every person that we will encounter in life will have something in common with us, and we will also have something unique from them too. We all have a soul but it’s left up to us how much we allow it to shine through by being completely authentic to our true selves. Spirituality is not something mystical spirituality is our life, lived from the inside out, and if you call yourself spiritual know that the person next to you on the mat, on the bus or at work is spiritual too.