When I was in university, I got my degree in Commerce, but I minored in Religious studies. I find learning about different religions to be so fascinating! I went to Catholic school for elementary and secondary, so I learned a whole lot about Catholicism, but when I was introduced to different religions of the world, I was so interested in all the different perspectives and how many similarities there were throughout all religions. So when I took my first teacher training and a major part of it was the philosophy of yoga, I was so excited. I had learned about Hinduism before, but only very generally, I never knew that this religion tied into the philosophy of yoga (and Buddhism too, but we focused more on Hinduism). We had the privilege of learning from two top scholars in the field, Dr. Douglas Brooks and Hareesh Wallis. These guys had such a breadth of knowledge in their field and it was a joy to learn from them. They were both also experts in the Sanskrit language and so we were able to learn a lot about the Sanskrit names of the poses. Learning about the philosophy of yoga gave me a bigger picture of yoga and how it’s not all about doing crazy poses, how there are eight limbs of yoga and asana is just one of them. It’s so interesting to me that yoga asana only became a thing way back in the day to open the body to be able to sit and meditate for very long periods of time, and look at what it’s evolved into today! I also love how some asanas have stories that go along with them. For example, hanumanasana (July’s pose of the month!) was a pose dedicated to the Hindu god, Hanuman. The (really simplified) story of Hanuman was that his friend, Ram’s, girlfriend, Sita, was kidnapped and taken so far away that there was no way Ram would be able to rescue her. So Hanuman (the monkey god) took a giant leap practically across the world, and since he leapt with one foot forward, the other foot was behind (like splits pose) and that’s how the pose came to be in yoga. (He did end up saving Sita and she was reunited with Ram, in case you were wondering). Anyways, I just find it all very fascinating and it shows to me that there is so much more than exercising and stretching to yoga. I absolutely love the history and philosophy of yoga and it is just one of the many reasons that I LOVE yoga!