Many Paths, One Yoga

Rachel Kinback, Certified Yoga Teacher, instructs classes and private sessions at Yoga Highlands Studio on Carolina Way. She is actively pursuing holistic studies through the arts, organic farming, outdoor education, healthy cooking and community organization. Visit YogaHighlands.com for Rachel’s spring yoga schedule.

Diversity is inherent in our lives. 

Each person’s body is unique by design and further influenced by its environment.  Traditional Yoga is exceptional in recognizing the variety of personality types and provides to us Four Paths to the practice of yoga.  

From the 12th to the 15th centuries, yoga adepts experienced and simplified our many human facets much like the more modern Myers-Briggs personality scale.  They determined that each of us are a composition of four basic traits: experiential, emotional, energetic and reflective.  Though we all display each of these traits, usually one dominates our mood and personality.  Knowing a bit about this may help align you with your path to yoga.

One path is that of unconditional love and devotion.  Social activists, who witness the suffering of others and feel called to act and alleviate it, put into practice this yogic path of love.  This path soothes the emotions.

The second is that of the energetic personality.  This is for the doer, the kinetic, and “always in motion” person.  For those who are constantly engaged in projects, and good at completing tasks, fulfillment can be found by dedicating one’s daily work consistently to a greater good.

The third yogic path is for the reflective personality, who engages one’s own intellect in the study of worthy ideas.  This yoga requires us to become more mindful of what we are consuming such as books, movies, social media, retail purchases, etc.  By asking ourselves if this consumption is of real spiritual learning and growth, worthy of our time or money, we can uplift our thoughts.

The fourth path for the experiential person is the physical practice of yoga based in movement and breath technique that stills the overactive-mind.  What our culture now thinks of as yoga, the practice of postures on the mat, is just one of the four paths.

Recognizing we all create and maintain health by way of our own path is an empowering lesson.   Communities in which uniqueness is prized can be bolstered by an individual who takes up the path of yoga. 

Yoga Highlands and Cashiers Valley Fusion invite you to explore their on and off the mat offerings in May.