"The light in me honours the light in you" - Namaste
Yoga is a means to experience life on a physical, mental and or spiritual level. It is deeply rooted in ancient Indian philosophies. Yoga is a Sanskrit term that translates to ‘union’. This is the most popular meaning of the term, although there are many other descriptions that are used. The popularity of Yoga has significantly increased in the last decade around the world, initially starting as a grassroots movement to now being incorporated in corporate environments. Despite it’s popularity, there are still a lot of misconceptions with what yoga means and many people quickly dismiss it, saying it is not for them and miss out on understanding it’s great benefits. In my own life, yoga has been something that I have been engaged with for the last 10 years and I believe that the knowledge I have gained can be passed on and be of great value for others. So if you are on the fence or are curious to learn more about Yoga, I have listed below some reasons as to why I practice.
It Is Grounding
In a busy world many of us become scattered. As someone who likes to make the most of their time, I tend to do too much and spread myself thin. I often turn to yoga to get centered or find a sense of stillness. I did find that it took a lot of discipline and patience to make time and add it to my schedule at first. However, once I started to do this, I found a HUGE difference in how I reacted or responded to things and the benefits of stillness outweighed the burn out I was feeling from running around.
It Helps With Concentration
Another reason why I practice yoga is because I have trouble focusing or paying attention to things for a long period of time. Along with a restless mind, I also turned to yoga for having tension and agitation in my body. I noticed that once I did a yoga practice and then proceeded into meditation, my mind became more focused and my body became less tense. I initially started with shorter classes and eventually continued on to longer classes, once I was able to build on my discipline and concentration.
It Allows to Turn Inward
Living in high paced world also makes us forget to turn inward or tune in to things that are happening inside us that we tend to forget about. Sometimes it has to do with our thoughts, sometimes it has to do with how we are feeling physically and mentally and other times it is because we are lost. All of these reasons allowed me to become more conscious of what was happening on the inside and helped with how I respond in my every day occurrences.
It Builds Strength
I like most people turned to yoga to become more physically resilient. Whenever I was experiencing body pain and noticed that my muscles were not supporting me, I turned to yoga and found that I was become physically stronger as I practiced more. Yoga postures often work many areas of the body. As I got more curious about yoga I found that yoga was also great for strengthening the mind. The mental strengthening benefits often get overlooked in the west as yoga has been highly portrayed as a form of “fitness”, which it is, however it is so much more if you are curious to learn about it. Not only that it also helps build on one’s spirituality. It is important to note that although yoga does stem from Hindu philosophy, it can be practiced in a secular way.
It Is For Everyone
Most people associate yoga for being for those who are young and physically fit. We often see romanticized images of people, mostly women, portraying yoga by performing extreme flexible stretching. This again is a common misconception. Yoga is a very broad philosophy. There are so many branches to it that it can be applied to anyone if they are interested enough to give it a try. For instance, yoga is modified to be taught to children in schools, seniors in care homes, for those who are pregnant as well as people with injuries and limitations. Do not let the stereotypes steer you away, give yoga a shot