Ganga White’s Poem “What If” Teaches Us How Yoga Transforms Your Mind, Body and Spirit

“What if our religion was each other, if our practice was our life, if prayer our words? What if the temple was the earth, if forests were our church, if holy waters the rivers, lakes and oceans? What if meditation was our relationships? If the teacher was life, if wisdom was self-knowledge, if love was the center of our being…”

“What If” is a poem composed by Ganga White, a yoga teacher for over fifty years and founder of White Lotus in California. Ganga White’s commitment to yoga is rooted in the powerfully transformative elements it offers. “An awakening,” as White calls it, that a regular yoga practice inspires within you.

Yoga is about change.

Whether you’re an experienced yogi, or a beginner looking for a healthy workout routine, it doesn’t take long to see a transformation in yourself.

A Poem That Inspires Change From Within

Yoga is meditative. When you step onto your mat, you leave the chatters of the outside world behind, quietly going within to find the peace inside your breath.

Each time we make this small commitment of calm with ourselves, we undergo a shift, and we come away feeling renewed.

Indeed, this shift takes place on multiple levels. Our bodies are given fresh oxygen and blood flow, we stretch and strengthen our muscles and tendons, and we attain a different mind-state. Gaining a fresh perspective is a powerful way to promote change within our lives.

Albert Einstein said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” Your practice opens new gateways of thinking, lifting you out of limiting thought patterns.

When you honor yourself by doing yoga, you open up more than just your joints.

Your elevated perspective is empowering, much like how you feel after completing a yoga class. Yoga is grounding — it helps us cultivate a relationship with our practices, and like her poem suggests, teaches mindfulness and awareness. The asanas (or poses) and the breathwork teach grounding and how to be in the present moment.

From this state of mind, through the lends of “What If”, you begin to see the world through a lens of balance and positivity — you begin to see the world in its true form, all of us connected, all of us living for today.

Ganga White’s Poem “What If” Can Inform Our Yoga Practice

Here we can embody Ganga White’s poem “What If” and make our daily lives our temple through the vehicle of yoga.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

John Lennon

How has yoga transformed your life? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂

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wonderful comments!

Ashton August

Ashton is the founder and Content Director of and YA Classes (we plant a food-producing tree for every class a member completes!). As a motivational author and speaker, distinguished yoga instructor and wellness entrepreneur, she believes that cultivating empowering self-talk and a healthy mindset opens the door to living an abundantly fulfilling life! Ashton lives in sunny Tucson, Arizona with her husband and their two rescue dogs.

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