On a daily basis I find myself talking about the many benefits of yoga. The moment I discovered yoga and began to experience the transformation that comes with it, I had a deep desire to share it with the world. It was this desire that led me to become a yoga teacher. A role I uphold as a privilege. In this post I address some of the many benefits that come from practicing yoga regularly. However, I fundamentally believe that yoga is not necessarily something that can be understood through the mind, but through the action of practice - thus yoga is something that must be experienced.
Yoga is a direct way to tune in to how you have been treating yourself and reflex on your diet, emotions, conflicts, stress and relationships that affect you and your yoga.
Yoga can be described as a psychophysical approach to life and self- understanding. Yoga transforms you by opening up the physical and mental binds that block your potential, limiting your life and brings you many concrete benefits. For example it is a powerful therapeutic tool for correcting physical and psychological problems; it retards gaining weight and keeps you opened sexually; it gives strength and flexibility for other physical activities; it can enhance our looks, posture, skin and muscle tone, and vitality; and it can give you a life sense of grace and overall wellbeing. At a more profound level yoga involves generating energy (known as Prana).
The art of yoga lies in learning how to focus and generate energy into different parts of the body, by listening to the body’s messages (feedback) and in surrendering to where the energy leads you.
Yoga involves a balance between “control” and “surrender” channeling energy and letting go, so the energy can move you. The concept of ‘control’ and ‘surrender’ can also be understood as ‘transformation’ or ‘resistance to change’ There is no way to remain the same as you are now. Understanding that as we age, the habit taking-on process makes us more rigid both physically and mentally as our body movements become more limited. We can transform this process by incorporating movements in the way we think and by the way we move our body. Memory lives in the cells, in the systems of the body, in the brain and in thought itself.
Doing yoga in the morning puts you in direct touch with how you have been treating your self on the previous day. You learn to read subtle differences in flexibility, endurance, and energy. The body has its own intelligence, and being able to listen to and learn from that intelligence is an essential part of yoga.
If you are interested in learning more about yoga there are many resources readily available online and in libraries and bookshops. Ultimately I recommended:
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali