Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What yoga can do for you

In today's society, many many people are very stressed. They think that stress is just part of life and while they don't like it, they accept it. But accepting that stress is part of life means accepting minor illnesses like colds and flu's, insomnia, irritability, exhaustion and unexplained malaise. There doesn't seem to be enough time to enjoy things from the past because there is so much to do today to support your family. This doesn't make any sense does it. We are not on this planet to live this way. While it is important to support your family, you also have to show them that you know how to enjoy them and enjoy life in general. Otherwise what do they have to look forward to? It is as though tuning out is the only way to cope with it. Disconnecting our minds from our bodies. Living out of our heads as though our bodies were just something to carry our minds around. But one of these days, it will occur to you that something is not quite right. This is your true self tapping you on the shoulder.

One of the simplest ways to maintain a regular life but with less suffering (and I use that term lightly) is with yoga. Yoga is not a religion or a cult or a fitness regime. It is not turning yourself into a pretzel, unless you aspire to that. It is just a nice way to introduce your mind to your body and experience what it feels like. It is done through movement, postures and breathing.

The following is just a few of the benefits yoga can bring to your life.

1) improve circulation

2) reduce stress

3) bring blood to the brain

4) reduce back pain

5) reduce tendinitis

6) help you sleep better

7) make you aware of how wonderful your body is

8) help you realize you are not just your mind

9) improve posture

10) eliminate toxins from your body

There are as many benefits of yoga as there are complaints about our bodies. A regular practice (try 3 1 hour practices per week) can bring wonderful changes to your life. You will find this to be true after just one class.

Yoga is for every BODY. Children, seniors, underweight, overweight, short, tall, average, unwell, deaf, blind, happy, sad....

There is practice on the mat of asanas or postures like downward dog and tree and then there is yoga off the mat. This is the part of yoga that is not as well known as the postures. Of the 8 limbs of yoga, asanas are only 1. How we treat ourselves and others, how we live in our homes and in the world, how much we contemplate society and our own purpose, how we focus on what keeps us alive - our breath. These are some of the ways we live yoga that can also open our eyes to the life that we are living. Just being aware of them can cause us to feel uncomfortable, but at least we are feeling, and it won't last long.

Just for today, start yoga - practice paying attention to your breath. Watch as you inhale and as you exhale. Watch it for a few minutes. Pay only attention to the breath. You will see after only a few minutes - you feel a bit better. Maybe tomorrow you will think about doing more.