Living in Yoga is more important than doing Yoga – 1 Nov 10


I have been writing about yoga teachers who want to be perfect in doing the Asanas. In the west those people who are then really flexible in the yoga poses and can bend their body wherever they want are called yoga masters or experts. They may be practicing yoga postures several hours daily in order to be more perfect. I have been writing about perfectionism but what would that really mean for yoga?

The main point again is that yoga is not only ‘doing yoga’ but it is ‘living yoga’. In the Western world ‘being good in yoga’ means the asanas, it means discipline and counting your yoga practice in hours per day. Most of the times I see yoga teachers teach much but are less in yoga. I would like them to be more in yoga and teach less.

Whoever comes to the Ashram – be it for learning yoga or just for enjoying being in India – experiences a very different kind of yoga. You may be doing yoga and practicing the yoga poses but for really living yoga you don’t need to count any hours, you just need to be in love. First of all you need to love yourself, then love those around you and include really your whole surrounding. Accept whatever happens, even if it doesn’t seem to fit into your plan. Don’t attach yourself to the things that you ‘own’. Don’t think you are perfect, you can always learn, so be open to new lessons. Feel your body, listen to the signs of your body and take care of it. Accepting this attitude will change a lot in your life. You don’t get exaggerated enthusiasm that might disappoint you and you don’t fall into depression. Keeping your body, mind and soul healthy makes you more stable, more satisfied and much happier.

People who come to India often get to know that here people may not be able to do a lot of yoga poses but that many live much more in yoga than many of the yoga teachers they know. Living in yoga has nothing to do with perfection. It has everything to do with love, with being in the flow of what is happening and with accepting the limits of your body. Being perfect does not mean that you can get both legs behind your head and then walk on your hands. It just means living in love with yourself and all that is around you. Living in yoga is more important than doing yoga.


  1. Holly

    Swami Ji! Have you ever heard of gyrokinesis? It is said to be the dance version of yoga- focusing on movement instead of poses. I really love it.

  2. Tanya Lyn

    I apreciate your perspective, as usual. Being yoga seems much more effective in terms of inner balance than doing the yoga as an isolated exercise. An important distinction.

  3. Hanah

    What a great post for everyone Swami Ji.

  4. nothingprofound

    Absolutely loved this. What a clear explanation of what yoga truly accomplishes and truly is.

  5. Swami Balendu

    Thank you my dears for your beautiful words. Just trying to live in Yoga. Avery small student who love Yoga. Love to all

  6. Rachel

    This is true!I also think that listening to your body all of the time is important.

  7. Mirela

    Whoever wants to start with yoga should try to understand the essence of it. How can I drive a car without any basic understanding of how and why it actually works.

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