Updated: Jan 5, 2021
That’s not exactly how the Buddhist saying goes, but that is how it has stayed in my mind.
Many paths, one destination is about the many paths to enlightenment, but I think it also works for the many paths of yoga. Yoga isn’t just the postures, it’s pranayama (breathwork), meditation, mantra, mudras, and more. This is why I always say that Yoga is for everyone; because there is no one way to do Yoga.
You could only ever meditate and focus on the Yamas and Niyamas from the Yoga Sutras, and you would be practicing Yoga. You could only ever practice the postures in a yoga class or at home, and you would be practicing Yoga.
You could also start with one thing, like the postures and then find yourself gravitating to other parts of the practice. That’s what’s so beautiful about Yoga; there are so many facets and so much to discover along your own personal journey.
Yoga isn’t about making you be anything or changing anything about you, it’s about helping you see what is already there. Then, you can decide what you want to do with what you’ve found, and you can decide how you're going to get there. When I started, my practice was just about the physical part, the postures (asanas). Then I learned more about what Yoga is as a whole, and my practice changed. Again, that’s what’s so beautiful about Yoga; it grows with you as you open up to it.
One of my favorite quotes (which I will get right ;) ) is from Baba Hari Dass who said, “If you work on Yoga, Yoga will work on you.” What I think that means is that if you put yourself into Yoga, if you practice mindfully and with joy, then Yoga will help unravel the bits that have gotten knotted and help you to remember how divine you truly are.
Here's to your Yoga journey, whether you're just beginning, have been a student for many years, are just coming back to it, or anything else. Let's keep growing and finding our JOY.