Many see Yoga as a physical practice, like fitness or pilates, but miss the many other points and benefits of what it is and what it can do for your wellbeing.
Now some others still see Yoga as a woo-woo thing…. So, first of all, Yoga is NOT a religion. Yoga can be practised by members of any religion, as Yoga is about connection. Connection to yourself, to your body, to life, to the world and to anything else, for that matter. You can see it as a connection to God if you want, because it is about connecting to everything that is.
Yoga teaches you to get to know yourself more, it can help your fitness for sure, but it will also help your soul, your mind and mental state and your life energy. It can be restorative, it can be meditative, it can be fast-paced and it can be hard, but it can also be easy and gentle and therapeutic (both physically and mentally). (Almost) Whatever you need, you can find in Yoga. Yoga is a way of life, where you can find answers and solutions and it is for everyone. There are no limits to whom it can be good for and it can be adapted to everyone of any body type or any issues.
Yoga is not just contortionism. 🙂 Actually, it is far from that… you don’t have to be flexible to do it, and you don’t have to put your leg behind your head to say you’re practising yoga. It’s not at all about these! That is the “new age” view of yoga in the western world, where people included the social media component as main, or the fittness component, forgetting the essence.
Moon salutation – feminine energy, flowing, nurturing, soft, receiving
I’ve done my 200 hrs Yoga Teacher Training and I’m so happy I did. I was looking to learn some of the physical implications of what it can help with, only to learn oh! so much! …and to want to dig deeper and deeper. Studying also some of the Ayurvedic principles, Restorative Yoga, Chair Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and now I am wanting to deepen all of this.
With Yoga you can get: stress/anxiety release, trauma release, you can get fit (both mentally and physically), you can challenge yourself and you can get to know yourself and your deepest beliefs and dreams. You can find your inner strength and you can regain your balance. You can get some discipline into your life if you need it. And it has many therapeutic benefits mentally and physically as well. But what you actually get from yoga is this: self-awareness, self-cognition, patience, understanding and connection to yourself and to what surrounds you. Yoga is itself a teacher, turning you into your best teacher as well. It is a life-changing experience when you are willing to dive into it below the surface of the westernized social-media cover. You can indeed get fit with yoga, but it’s way more than that. It’s a holistic approach to what you do, are and feel, helping you connect to all that and release what’s not for your highest good, welcoming instead what is. Yoga goes way behind the asanas (which is what you know as poses) into breath, meditation, way of life and principles, way of looking at life and at everything that surrounds you. It makes you become the best version of you, if you let it.
I am really grateful I started when I did, and I’m sorry I didn’t give it enough credit before. It helped me help myself with serious alignment issues in my spine, it helped me with clearing my mind and finding my way, getting more balance and finding beautiful people that I thought no longer exist in this world and in finding in Yoga a companion for the good and the bad days. I won’t say it will be the same for you… but I will challenge you to try and see for yourself.
Sun salutation – Masculine energy, warming, strong, doing
Yoga makes people become more human. In the real sense: being kind, compassionate, vulnerable and yet strong, balanced and smart. It helps you let go of judgmental ways and lets you see things in a different, relaxed, compassionate and yet non-attached way. Hard to condense everything in one short article, so you have to take my word for it (and many many other’s words) and try.
I added here two short flow sequences, well-known in yoga, each with it’s main traits.
Get in touch with your breath, your body, nature and everything that is. We need this more today than any day! And forget your pre-conceptions, there’s no judgment in yoga, nor any constraints.