At Plank, we define yoga differently than many. After all, we practice yoga differently . While your yoga journey is yours and yours alone, we want to share with you where we’ve arrived after decades of study. Of course, our education and path continue. Here’s the (current) yoga gospel according to Plank
To Plank, yoga is not: only a relaxation and meditation technique, or only a way to stretch and unwind.
Yoga is: a powerful body awareness education system. A yoga class is an anatomy course: the opportunity to learn about the body’s biomechanics in a way no other activity allows. Yoga grants us the chance to form an intimate and important connection with our muscles, joints, ligaments, and connective tissues. But not only does it allow us to meet and interact with them, it also allows us to understand them, to figure them out and solve any problems they may have—from tightness to pain. Awareness is a fix-it tool: It helps us put our musculoskeletal system to use properly so that the body works more efficiently and optimally, both on and off the mat. On the mat, awareness means we can actually twist our bodies into the strange and crazy shapes we call asanas without injury. Off the mat, it means we can walk lifted in our bodies and move with lightness, breezing through life in proper alignment and without pain. Yoga is powerful physical fitness. It is the deliberate intention to make the body, along with the mind, more capable and more powerful.
Yoga is not: a practice that requires a lifetime of study before its benefits can be felt. On the other hand, yoga is not something that can be mastered overnight.
Yoga is: instant power, instant lightness, and instant transformation. When you approach yoga as a body awareness education, and you’re grounded in your poses and practice (learn more here), the physical results are instantaneous. From the moment you begin paying attention to how your body works as you move through the asanas, it no longer becomes a dead weight you drag around to the grocery store and through your daily chores. You and your body become stronger and lighter. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments become properly aligned, and all of your body’s parts begin to move and work in perfect harmony. Everything—life—becomes easier. Even if you don’t perfect a pose right away, you will feel the benefits from trying, from moving broadly and deeply into the asana with purpose and awareness. Even if pain isn’t gone overnight, once you’ve started your journey, you’re well on your way to crossing the pain-free finish line.
On the other hand, once you master a pose, it doesn’t mean you’ve mastered yoga. There is always the opportunity to take your practice and your understanding of your body’s biomechanics to the next level. You can move from connecting with your first layer of muscles to the next and onto the next—to the tiniest of muscle fibers and deepest layers of connective tissue. So much stands to be gained: more strength, more efficiency, more confidence, more health and happiness…
…now that’s what Plank is all about.
And TELL US: What’s yoga to you? Comment below.