Through daily practice, yoga has become my foundation for a healthy, happy life.
Just half an hour each morning sets me up with a fresh outlook and good intentions.
On top of that, my fitness levels and general physique have improved so much. And after a year and a half, I can connect my mind and body, and do things I never imagined I’d be strong enough for!
So, just because the love has hit a deeper level recently, here are 6 reasons why I’ve fallen madly, head-over-knees in love with yoga:
- It clears the mind- if I’m feeling stressed, anxious or just generally down in the dumps, doing a few sun salutations or releasing some residual tension in certain areas of my body (such as the hips, where much of our past angst is stored), really helps clear that stuffy mind-fog. Sometimes, our amazing minds become so entrenched with thoughts (whether positive or negative), that it becomes overbearing and we need to just stop the flow for a while, to reset and regain some clarity.
- It tends to the body- physically speaking, yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen, tone and stretch our bodies, without even realising we’re doing it. Because much of the practice is so subtle- focusing on remaining calm, breathing mindfully and flowing through movements gently, it’s easy to forget we’re essentially getting a ‘workout’ the whole time. Then every few days you take a glance in the mirror and see some newly sculpted muscles here and there – awesome surprise!
- It reminds me how it feels to Be Alive- This feeling is so easy to forget. Too many times I’ve found myself stagnant, mooching on the sofa or playing video games for days on end, with no real activity. And the longer this goes on, the harder it is to pull yourself back. But once you do, even in that first downward dog of the day, a fire is ignited instantly and the energy flowing through your body reminds you of what it is to feel, what it is to be. And how wonderful it actually feels to be a living, breathing entity on this planet.
- You get back what you put in (and then some)- Like any healthy relationship, you reap the benefits when you invest the best part of yourself. Yoga has no expectations- all it asks is that you show up, and just be yourself. And in turn, the path will lead you to beautiful new places, inspiring new people and exciting new experiences.
- Anybody can do it- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Every body is a yoga body. Fat or thin, tall or short, muscular or feeble. We can all reap the benefits of regular practice. Of course, every body is different and every body will adapt and grow in different ways, but the truth is yoga is not exclusive for just already-bendy dancers or skinny fitness freaks. Yoga will embrace you, whoever you are.
- It will never leave me…. Sure, I could leave yoga. I could roll up my mat and stop practicing for the next 6 months, become shrivelled and tight. But the philosophy of yoga and the lessons it brings won’t ever go- I’ll always remember to breathe in stressful situations. I’ll always be more aware of how individual muscles and body parts feel at different times. And I’ll always remember the mind-body connection that yoga and I chiselled together through dedication and commitment. We’ll always have that mutual love. And that I adore.
I’d love to see schools introduce yoga as part of Physical Education or maybe those odd, ‘Social Studies’ classes that encouraged even the nerdiest of kids to skive. This in turn would create the space and opportunity to learn mindfulness and stress-relief, throughout their education, which they then take with them to use later in life.
In fact, I’d just love to see everybody try it, period. Sure, some won’t be as taken as I was, and that’s fine. But just to experience it would create a newfound outlook, everybody can benefit from.
Maybe I’m being biased towards my love. But I believe in it so much, I’m even willing to share it with the world! Now that’s commitment.
Peace and love all.