Michele Pernetta, Workshop Teacher at TheHotTT
Thats entirely up to the practitioner. There is no “goal” that we need to have in our minds, such as “oh I must empty my mind in class today, or I must be able to sit in a perfect Lotus and meditate.” All that is the search and takes us away from being in the moment. So if I had to identify a purpose, it would be developing the ability to be in this very moment.
However for some the purpose is to keep the body moving and healthy. For others it is to de-stress. For others it is a form of meditation and ego transcendence. As a teacher I feel it is not my job to tell someone what i think the purpose is, as it’s purpose is whatever is going on for the practitioner that day, moving past their own limitations, their own personal journey. Sometimes the mere act of not listening to their mind telling them not to get off the sofa and go to yoga, and just getting themselves into the room, is a huge act of self transcendence. That can be more “yogic” than the “advanced” practitioner going in the room and doing standing splits. For me, the purpose is to perform moment to moment communion with the life force via the breath, feeling, body and attention. For someone with a steel rod in their spine it may be to create movement in the areas they can still move and find acceptance of their broken body in the mirror. Its very personal and that is why it is so powerful.
Zefea Samson, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
All forms of yoga, whether it is practicing asana in hatha yoga, or chanting, or meditating, it all leads to Self-awareness and Self-realization. We might start a yoga practice to feel better, look better, to heal injuries etc. And that is great. Sooner or later we will feel the effects in every aspect of our life. Yoga is an amazing tool to tap into our true Self and become the best, most beautiful and shining version of who we are.
Leticia Leyva, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
The purpose of yoga is different for everyone but when asked to generalize I would say an all encompassing catch all would be to teach one self-awareness. Through yoga you learn how to truly listen to and respect your body. Deeper than that you learn to control your thoughts, and through that knowledge ultimately gain control of your life. Yoga teaches you how to dive deeper within and explore the true Self, whatever that might mean to you.
Jeannie Savage, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
The purpose of yoga is to reach our “true nature” as humans. In order to achieve that, you come to a point of self-realization and gain self-awareness. It is looking in and going down to your roots. All other benefits from yoga come as you continue your practice. Yoga, for me, is not just an art, but a science. Yoga is a thought out method that is meant to not only heal, but purify the body.
Torrey Trover, Senior Teacher at TheHotTT
The purpose of yoga is Self realization. A practitioner uses a myriad of techniques and practices to slowly but surely shed the numerous layers of the ego and identifications with the finite.
Ryan McCourt, Support Teacher at TheHotTT
That’s a big question. Like “what’s the purpose of life?” Some people strive for happiness, some for meaning, and others just for duty. Different people take many different things away from yoga as well. Fitness, weight loss, sense of community, relaxation, meditation, awareness, and even pride. Despite what people use yoga for, I think it is supposed to be a tool to understand yourself better. The room may be full, but it is a time to be alone. A time to focus on your body and mind. A time to shut out the outside world and feel what you really feel. For me personally, its the only environment I can be alone for hours on end without a care in the world. Simply put, I think the purpose of yoga is peace.