Why Yoga...Why Not?

The practice of yoga has taken the West awhile to accept, understand and pursue. It is unlike any other physical activity. It has no age bracket that it is limited to; no necessary physical ability to do it a certain way or any requirements to get to the next level of skill to move forward. In other words, there is nothing to lose or win. Instead, what you gain from your practice is more gratifying than the temporary moment of winning a competition.

What is gained is unique for each individual for each of us have different needs, strengths and weaknesses. Yoga helps you find what you need. The famous yogi, Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), said: “Practice and all is coming.” This quote may not mean much to you now; however, the longer you practice, the depth of the meaning emerges.

Yoga is called a practice because that is all you simply do…practice. Each practice is different because your body changes from day to day. Make yoga a routine practice in your life and you will observe results manifest cumulatively over time. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Forget the lack of flexibility excuse. Yoga will make those tight muscles a distant memory of the past. Do not make the excuse of not having the time to practice yoga. The practice of yoga actually gives you time. Once you learn the importance of making time for your well-being, you will find time is not as linear as you once perceived.

Over the years, yoga has had numerous styles emerge. What strikes a chord with one person may not work for you. The key point to always remember is to listen to your body. Only you know if what you are experiencing feels right or not. It is imperative to remember that you are practicing yoga for your well-being…physical, mental, and spiritual. Or, you may simply practice for one of those purposes. It is your practice. Simply make it good one. If you have medical concerns, consult with your doctor and/or make the yoga teacher aware of the situation. The rule regarding health is to always err to side of caution. “No pain, no gain” is NOT in the true philosophy of a yoga practice.

Yoga actually helps your organs function better. Certain moves in yoga give a gentle squeeze to the internal organs, such as the kidneys, pancreas, and liver. These organs work very hard to keep your body cleaned of toxins and balanced chemically. Doing yoga shows them a little love so that they can work better for you. The anatomy of the body is mind-boggling; therefore, know that everything within this container called your body is intricately interconnected. If one system is imbalanced, it has a ripple effect of the others. Yoga helps teach you to breathe in more oxygen for the cells. The moves you make help your muscles, ligaments, organs, and even your bones get stronger. As you get older, you reduce the risks of osteoporosis, arthritis, and more!

The more you practice yoga, the better you manage stress. It has a mysterious way of physically getting you chemically balanced. Then, the physical balance blends into emotional balance. Eventually, what might stress you out now will not in the future. Remember, the practice of yoga has cumulative effects. Great results do not emerge instantly. But, it does not take long to feel the difference. It simply gets better and better with practice and time.

So, if you made it an intention to pursue it in 2011…now is the time to start it. No more excuses. Find a place close by that teaches yoga and get on the mat. The rest will fall into place. Remember…”practice and all is coming.”
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