I’m about as flexible as a brick. But I love Yoga! Because real Yoga is not just about flexibility, poses, building strength and doing exercise. All those things come as part of it and are great, but the purpose and lessons of Yoga go much deeper.
I’m no expert or particularly advanced, but I’ve been doing Yoga for a while and believe it has the power to massively improve people’s lives, including YOURS!
It’s important to get the right teacher and to practise regularly in order to reap the rewards, which for me include experience of:
- The power of your breath
Breath is life. The way you breathe has massive effects on your physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. How shallow and short is your breath when you are anxious and stressed? Do you feel your body tense up, your heart race and you feel like crap?
Is that good for you? Nope.
Yoga has many types of breathing exercises that are not just for the Yoga mat. They are for daily life, for calming you down, keeping you strong, grounded and healthy.
- Self-love and acceptance
My body is not the fittest, prettiest, most flexible or toned. It has many ‘imperfections’ and although ‘loving your body’ as far as I know is not a Yoga teaching, Yoga has somehow helped me to do exactly that!
Yoga is an opportunity to spend time with your body, to get to know it. Through Yoga I have gained so much more awareness of my body and what it actually feels like to be in it!
Many of us critique our bodies and although I still do sometimes, I’ve learned to be so much more grateful for my body just as it is. It is a beautiful gift and it is the home of my soul.
- No competition
My teachers always say that the Yoga class is not a competition, it’s about your own journey of growth. Yours and yours alone.
Considering we spend so much of our lives comparing ourselves to others – much to the detriment of our joy, this is a very important concept that Yoga can help you grasp. Ignore everyone else, just focus on you!
- Gentle patience and persistence
In Yoga you don’t beat yourself up for not being good enough or not getting into a pose fully. You just become aware of how far your body and mind can go right now and accept that. And when you are ready, you can stretch a little further, bit by bit.
It’s not about ‘pushing’ and ‘striving’ it’s about ‘being’ and ‘exploring’. Perhaps that too, is a way we could live life?
- The power of mind, body and soul alignment
Alignment of the mind, body and soul is synonymous to being mindful and present, which brings huge peace.
Such alignment is not something we all have in our daily lives – for example, whilst your body is eating in the present moment, your mind is thinking about yesterday and your soul is patiently sat in the background.
In Yoga, mind body and soul are all in one place. They are present and they are whole, YOU are present and YOU are whole. I cannot tell you how purifying and peaceful that is.
- Mental focus and meditation
The whole of Yoga should promote stilling and focussing your mind and in that respect it’s also a meditation.
Balancing poses really take this to the next level because if your mind is all over the place, you can’t balance – you will wobble around and fall. Absolute inner stillness is required for lengthy balancing poses.
The same goes for life. When your mind is all over the place, you will wobble around and fall. Yoga will help you gain control of that monkey mind, replacing it with laser sharp focus.
So I hope this inspires you to give Yoga a good go. We didn’t even get into the wonders of energy alignment and chakras! Take the time to try different types and teachers, see what suits you.
I hope it brings as much growth and peace to your life, as it does to mine. ☺❤