"In my experience, I have yet to meet a pissed-off person that regularly practices yoga - what's happening here? Is it that yoga creates happiness, or are only happy-type people attracted to yoga?"
I didn't used to be happy. Not like I am now, anyway. I used to feel much more like a pendulum, swinging way up one way some days, way back the other way on other days, and the rest of the time some variation of up or down or blah. And honestly, before yoga I don't think I really thought about how I felt most of the time, unless it was a very extreme emotion like anger or ecstasy. I had very little self-awareness, and did not proceed with anything particularly intentionally.
Eventually, I realized that something wasn't working in my life. I was stressed out and anxious, and a little (okay, a lot) directionless. Some of it had to do with personal life circumstances which is life, it's just what happens. But the rest of it - my perspective- was coming from the inside. I didn't consciously start devoting myself to my yoga practice to solve any problems. I originally just did it because it was something that I liked to do once in awhile, and it seemed like more would be a good thing. But eventually, yoga sorta worked its way from the inside out on me, and one day I realized that it felt like the storm in my head cleared. It was a very distinct realization, and the only thing I could think of was that it had to be the yoga. So I did more. And I read more. And I practiced more. And I started this blog. And now I've started teaching. And I can honestly say that although my life isn't perfect and I still have some ups and downs, I have never been more happy in my life than I am at this moment.
Yoga creates intention, it creates awareness, it creates compassion, it creates creativity (you heard me). Those are things that were missing in my life, and I found a way to make space for them. If those are things that are missing in your life, than maybe yoga is for you, too. I don't necessarily think yoga is the answer for everyone, but I do think that finding what makes you feel whole and putting your heart and soul into it is. For me, it's yoga. What is it for you?
shanti >> sondra