Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “union”. It is the union of many different ideas, events, movements, and principles. It was originally established as a Hindu spiritual discipline but has been transformed into a worldwide lifestyle that brings peace, love, and health to the multitudes.
YOGA AS A UNION OF BREATH, MEDITATION AND MOVEMENT
Many people think of yoga as poses and stretches. Broken down to its simplest form, it is these things and so much more. In order to get the full advantage of yoga, one must embrace all the aspects and not just the physical. Focusing on your breathing while doing the poses is a meditation in itself. When you are putting all your energy into your breath and movements, you become free of thoughts that might weigh you down and bring negative self-talk. This yoga energy becomes meditation as relaxation and calmness follow.
YOGA AS A UNION OF INSTRUCTOR, POSES AND STUDENT
There are hundreds and thousands of yoga videos online. Many of them are free which is helpful when you start out because you can search until you find an instructor that you can connect with. Sometimes going to a studio can be intimidating as you may feel that you won’t be “doing it right”. Everyone may go to a yoga class wanting to relax, connect and calm themselves, but the way of getting there will be different for each person. Don’t worry about “doing it right”. A truly accepting and supportive yoga community is understanding and will want you to be at ease. They will want for you to enjoy your time in class. The instructor may correct your poses, but only because they don’t want you to get hurt or injured. They want you to get the most out of the pose. Accept the guidance as a big yoga hug.
YOGA AS A UNION OF BODY, MIND, AND SOUL
There is no one right way to do yoga. Yoga is very personal and an individualized process. You should modify, rest and stretch as you feel the need. As you continue your practice, you will feel yourself moving easier and getting into poses that were once difficult for you to do. Slow and steady progress is expected. Just remember that even advanced yogis cannot do some poses, so don’t feel bad about yourself if you can’t do a pose perfectly. Feel good that you got on the mat and have started your journey. The longest of journeys start with the first step.
As you advance in your practice, you will find yourself using positive self-talk. In your mind, you are telling yourself that you can do it and you are constantly reminding yourself how good it will feel when you are finished. One of the best parts of a yoga sequence is the “savasana”, or total relaxation at the end. This can be a time to connect with your spiritual belief which can warm and soothe your soul.
YOGA AS A UNION OF POSITIVITY, SELF-CARE AND HEALTH
Be proud of yourself as you progress through your yoga journey. Apply the positive thoughts from your yoga progression to other aspects of your life – “If I can be successful in yoga, I can be successful in anything.” Schedule this practice into your day because it is such an important part of self-care. As you become stronger in the practice, you will find yourself craving it and will physically miss it if you can’t fit it into your schedule. Since you will be relieving stress during yoga, your health will also show improvement. Unite yourself with yoga and you will feel unbelievably strong, introspective and at peace.