Yoga, a practice with roots dating back thousands of years, is often described as a “step-by-step” journey. This ancient philosophy, with its deep wisdom and time-tested techniques, offers valuable insights for navigating the complexities of life.
One of the most difficult times I experienced was the disintegration of my marriage, a period marked by grief and overwhelming emotions. While I had studied yoga for years, it was in a workshop led by Rosemary Antze, a former ballerina with flowing white hair and sparkling blue eyes, that I was introduced to a remarkable system of breathwork. This practice profoundly soothed my agitated nervous system.
It was Rosemary who gave a definition of yoga that resonated deeply within me – ‘step-by-step.’ This mantra became my guiding light through my life. Often, the progress felt imperceptible like a glacier’s slow crawl. Yet, looking back, the immense transformation I had undergone became clear. I remain deeply grateful for Rosemary’s enduring wisdom and her connection to the precious yoga tradition of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar.
Krishnamacharya, one of the most influential figures in modern yoga, famously proclaimed, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” This simple yet profound statement underscores the foundational principle that yoga is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or background. It highlights the idea that yoga is a gradual, step-by-step process that begins with something as fundamental as the breath.
Desikachar, the son of Krishnamacharya, further elaborated on this notion, emphasizing the personalized nature of yoga. He believed that yoga should be adapted to suit the individual’s unique needs and circumstances, drawing a parallel with the idea that life, too, is a journey best undertaken one step at a time, respecting one’s own pace and abilities.
In both yoga and life, progress is made not by leaping ahead but by taking deliberate steps forward. Just as yoga postures are built step by step, with attention to alignment and breath, life unfolds as a series of experiences and lessons. Each step we take, each breath we inhale and exhale, is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
Yoga teaches us patience, resilience, and self-compassion, all of which are essential qualities for navigating life’s twists and turns. It reminds us that it’s okay to start small, to stumble, and to try again. Every step on the mat is a chance to learn and evolve, just as every step in life brings us closer to our goals and aspirations.
As we embrace the “step-by-step” philosophy of yoga within this sacred tradition, we recognize that it’s not about reaching a destination but about savoring the journey itself. Each posture, each breath, and each moment of stillness is a step towards balance, harmony, and self-awareness.
So, whether you’re rolling out your yoga mat or embarking on a new chapter in life, remember that the path is made one step at a time. Take a breath, find your balance, and step forward with intention. Just as in yoga, the journey of life unfolds, revealing its beauty and wisdom as you progress, step by step.