Windows Into Knowledge
It's nice to see how physical Yoga helps us differently throughout our lives. Sometimes it's a gateway to learning to love and nurture the body. Other times it helps us experience our inner and outer strength and power. It also trains us to listen more closely to the body, learning about its reactions, responses, as well as when to be more stern, gentle, or more patient with it.
Like any physical activity that we come back to over and over again, physical Yoga provides a window into our lives through which we can see ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, our virtues and flaws, our past and future, so that we can learn and develop through it.
Calling it "physical Yoga" feels strange to me, but I do it to distinguish the particular focus, or window, that we're looking through. Through the physical, we can access the emotional and the mental. Through the mental, we can access the physical and emotional. Through the emotional, we can access the physical and mental.
If you were sitting in meditation and focusing on thoughts or emotions, then you would be looking through different windows. You could study the physical through those windows, without moving a finger. Based on our temperaments, phases in our lives, strengths, abilities, we are inclined to approach a certain focus more than others. But each window ineveitably leads to the others, helping us to become well-rounded human beings over many years and many tries - whole, refined, and complete.
Whatever you receive from your practice, whether strength, endurance, happiness, or anything else, I hope you ultimately receive it as knowledge - about you - about Life.