Why Yoga Works

“Being known by love has its challenges. I think lots of us are also trying to be known as having right answers about things reserved for wonder.” ~ Steve Daughtry

I’m a little embarrassed that I can’t explain how or why yoga works. I can’t show you a chart of subtle body anatomy (or gross body anatomy for that matter) and explain just how the breath pairs with muscle contraction and skeletal placement to bring the sense of ahhhh at the close of an asana practice. I can’t diagram it like a sentence or describe it using higher math. Even if I could, it wouldn’t be sufficient.

Because this is a part of life reserved for wonder.

As I meditate on the things that cause wonder, I begin to notice they are twinned with love. The sound of my son’s laughter. The blueberry color of his eyes. Blueberries. A blue sky. A slate sky. A yellow sky. A smile from a person who usually frowns. The radiance of students during class. Two strong ants dragging a dead wasp.

Like so many of our English words, “wonder” has a double meaning.

As a noun it is: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

As a verb: to desire or to be curious to know something.

A desire to know, coupled with a feeling of surprise, mingled with admiration at something we cannot explain. That’s a pretty great definition of love. And a spot on description of yoga.

I took the photo above while on vacation in the mountains. This old wood beam edges terraced steps on an often trod hill. Rot in the shape of the heart holds space for young clover.

Wonder twinned with love.

“Being known by love has its challenges.” Not being able to explain it is one.

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