As you may know, Yoga is not just a series of stretches and poses that help shape your body in wonderfully sensitive ways. Yoga is a way of life. Understanding Yoga is to understand your body and your mind. the original Yogi’s in the ancient Hindu religions originally practiced Yoga to separate from society and prepare their bodies and their atman to be reunited with the greater brahman. The West’s adaptation of Yoga was intended to leave behind the practice of societal separation from both people and things and instead learn enlightenment through means of practiced poses and meditation for the mind. So today, what is really important when you start practicing Yoga is what you are doing when aren’t taking a class or practicing poses at home. It is all the time in between meditations and stretches where you can embody the Yogi lifestyle.
How? Well there are a number of different ways but lets first start with a basic principle. Start listening to your body and start to understand your mind. The more self aware you can become, the better you can find your own tune that will help you reach some level of enlightenment and happiness. So lets start with some examples. When you exercise in ways that are not Yoga, and you are working your body very hard, listen to what it needs. Are you thirsty? What is your inner voice saying to you? Is it good and encouraging? Is it bad and disheartening? Is something kind of hurting but you are choosing not to focus on the pain? STOP! Focus on what is happening in your body both good and bad so you can understand it. The things you like you keep and the things that bother you or hurt you can change. You can’t fix yourself if you don’t know exactly what to fix!
Another example I have for you is at work. People spend so much of their time at work just sitting at a desk. News flash, your body was not meant to sit around all day looking at a screen. While this may be a requirement now for many jobs, there are still things you can do to improve your situation and listen to your body! As soon as you start listening and taking action to keep your body happy, you are living the Yoga lifestyle outside of the studio. This is where so much progress can be made. What can I do to improve my work situation so I am not sitting all the time? Invest in something that will help you stand and work! Have you never hear of stand up desks before? Look one up somewhere online to find one and order it! No more excuses as to why you can’t. I even remove one more for you. Don’t want to put in the effort to find one? Good thing I practice what I preach. Here is a company that will take care of you and make sure you get just what you need to listen to your body.
So stop sitting around and ignoring yourself. You deserve attention first and foremost. Give your body the love it deserves so it can make you happy. If you body is happy, it is a lot easier to find enlightenment of the mind.