Why Yoga? What makes it so special?
The truth is I don't understand completely how yoga works, how it has done what it has for me.
I know that it has been a constant companion through good and bad - sickness, health, happiness, sadness, divorce, death, marriage - and my life is better because of it.
In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit, Deepak Chopra explains, " Yoga is a practical system to awaken human potential. It does not require you to believe in a set of principles in order to reap its benefits. On the contrary, the regular practice of yoga naturally generates a healthy belief system based upon your direct experience of the world through a more flexible nervous system. Perform yoga poses on a regular basis and your mind and emotions will change."
I can attest to the truth of his statements because of my personal experience.
My yoga mat is a magic carpet, a safe haven in an often unpredictable and chaotic world.
By showing up, unrolling the mat and committing to a daily practice, I have reaped its benefits.
I don't practice for hours a day.
I try to make it to a class once a week and practice 20-40 minutes at home most days, but sometimes five minutes for a down dog is all I manage.
And it's been enough to help me:
- Cure my back pain and sciatica attributed to herniated disks
- Eat more healthfully
- Lose thirty pounds and keep it off
- Normalize borderline high blood pressure
- Alleviate tension headaches
- Feel calm and balanced most of the time
- Be more patient and centered in my life
- Cultivate focus and concentration
- Manage stressful times
- Feel simultaneously relaxed and energized
- Be kinder to myself and others
- Gain strength and flexibility
- Improve body awareness
- Slow down and savor life
- Connect with like-minded people
- Sleep better
- Trust my intuition
- Cope with loss
- Develop more confidence
No other form of exercise has ever come close to helping me on so many levels - not walking, or running, or the stairmaster, or aerobics, or strength training - nothing. And that's why I continue to do it and encourage others to give it a whirl.
Many who practice yoga report similar experiences which explains why yoga has endured for thousands of years and why it continues its in popularity.
I love teaching yoga to beginners, seeing them change, hearing them describe the positive impact it has on their lives. But I've learned not to push or force yoga on anyone because you need to come willingly to the practice of yoga to receive its benefits.
When you are ready for a total work-out and work-in of your body, mind, and spirit, I hope you give yoga a try.
More About the Benefits of Yoga
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