There's always a lot of discussion about what constitutes "true" yoga - is it yoga if you are chanting mantras daily? Is it yoga if you get sweaty and hot during asanas and workout? Is it yoga if you smile, have fun and enjoy yourself? Is it yoga if you relax, meditate, let go and heal yourself? I believe that each of those statements about yoga is true.
However, I also believe that yoga is not about making a judgement about whether someone or something is yogic or not, yoga teaches us to live with compassion and to try to not judge other people's actions or ideas. If one person's idea of what is yoga differs from another's who is anyone to tell that person that they are wrong?
Yoga is magical, it is unlike anything I have ever experienced, the asanas work on a physical level initially making you feel good, great, unbelievable as though you are walking on air..... And as you become more and more hooked on this feeling you want to feel it more, you start to work with your breath so you become more interested in breathing exercises and mastering your own breath. And then comes the interest in meditation, calming the mind further to a place of absolute serenity where all answers to every single niggle and worry that your mind poses are addressed and given. And finally a whole lifestyle change takes place, you become a nicer person, you begin to love and care and be more compassionate towards yourself and then towards others, you began to eat more mindfully and suddenly you are a living yogi...
That's why I think yoga is so special, I believe that whatever path you follow to get there we all arrive at the same wonderful place, full of love for this wonderful human race that we all belong to, full of compassion for every single other living being and full of light as we progress further down the path.
So shine yogis, shine, and spread the word whether it's through hot yoga, sporty yoga, yin yoga, meditative yoga, bhakti yoga or just through offering love to everyone, let your real yoga shine!