Why do yoga?

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As I prepare the class outline for Sunday’s yoga practice at my friend’s Fitness Boot Camp, thought seeking in my new Sea Glass Inner Fire Capris, I think about the benefits yoga has brought me and how I could convey this message to these participants who may be at their first experience.

And so, I decided to address the idea that “yoga isn’t for me”, or the misconception of “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga”. From newbies to all-time practitioners, I think that these messages are essential to any level of practice.

First off, yoga is not a sport, not a competition, never a place to compare yourself to others and certainly not just about flexibility! As Judith Hanson Lasater says, “Yoga is not about touching your toes; it’s about what you learn on the way down”. Many will at first be attracted to yoga for the physical benefits, including weight loss, better digestion, toned body, improved flexibility and reduced back and muscle pain. However, there is a lot more to discover…

Secondly, just because you can reach your toes, bend backwards or do the split, does not mean that you are an excellent yogi, nor should this be the goal of practicing yoga. The ability to notice your physical Self and to simply observe what is going on inside your body is a first step in the right direction. As I have written before, in the Power of Practice, “Only by knowing where you stand can you move forward”, then, you can start making changes in your life, starting by yourself, your behavior.

Finally, sure, yoga may not be for you. Perhaps you are unable to slow down, take a break and sit, or maybe you find it a waste of time or an unrealistic approach to life. Well then that might be the exact reason why you should give it a try! There are such a variety of styles of yoga now, from a restorative practice to a high intensity vinyasa or flow, from a yin to power yoga, anyone can find something to enjoy. Ultimately, which ever the path you choose, the goals are the same: to find your Self, to bring focus in your life, to be a better person, to judge less, to lead a healthier happier life, to bring more awareness into your daily lives, and so much more.

Namaste

 

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