What brings people to yoga?

We can walk, hike, run, jog, bike/spin, play tennis, soccer, basketball, baseball, row, dance, swim …even martial arts – all kinds of options and offerings to stay fit through exercise.  So why yoga?  Why do we put ourselves into these sometimes awkward poses that gives us a  ouchy-feel-good combo sensations.  Why do we strike a pretzel pose or to some,  contortionists’ forms and shapes and call them with animal names or chant some mispronounced Sanskrit?  Because we have a desire to feel amazing!  All the aforementioned activities are all excellent ways to stay fit and social.  I say this to drive a point that yoga need not be a stand alone activity but a supplemental complementary practice.  I always say – mix and match:) not only among yoga styles but to complement or enhance your other “exercise”.

When you engage in any of the above activities alongside yoga, you feel more ease and freedom in your body while remaining better focused.  Have you found that to be the case as I have?  For some of us, it may become a stand alone fitness plan and while a home practice is nice, a well guided well sequenced group practice you committ to makes a difference.  It gets you out of your home, work environ to a place all dedicated to Self-Care.  Especially when you lack time, a good class fits right in.

As it was for me, eventually, you might just fall in love with Yoga so much it’s a stand alone fitness module.  Then, it becomes a daily life-long practice because there’s no such thing as too old or too busy in yoga.  Because yoga is not mutually exclusive to other activities  – you can embrace the practice and benefits as part of the whole exercise regimen.

Been noting this – If you are, rather, a musician and artists, many already discovered how staying fit through yoga provides more benefits than just physical – many may find that their creativity valve open and creative juices flow better; or that you simply sleep better at nights or you feel less stuck.  If you are already an athlete and well toned, yoga will keep your body injury resistant and perhaps even give you the edge by way of integrating that toned body with a toned mind; if you are already involved in sports, yoga is a way to provide better balance and focus.  It’s always one of the best stress management tool – as performance based sports and arts can be, stressful sometimes.

If you are sedentary, on the other hand, then yoga will give you the body awareness to slowly shift and modify the set pattern of behaviors.  That is, you may be more motivated to exercise once you discover the joy of lightness and freedom from an appropriate yoga session that challenges you but remains accessible.  So you can just view Yoga as an enhancement to your life – the practice enables us to see the shapes and colors more vividly, shades take on more luscious hues, sounds are clearer and sensations more crystal and pleasurable and you, yes, you are clearer in your intentions, deeds and communications.  We become more adapt at engaging all 5 senses and then some, to live more joyfully.  Yes, even at the office or at the clinic…

While people who use their body in their jobs tended to seek out and have always benefited from yoga (labor intensive jobs or any that entails heavy lifting or standing all day), today more and more corporations are embracing the benefits of yoga for their employees.  For example, as I happen to know/see a good number of workers in the technology fields, I can safely say that these are perhaps the most typical and common complaints among them:

  1. Lower back or the whole back pain;
  2. carpel tunnel syndrome
  3. Straight neck – or a lost curve in the cervical spine.
  4. Stress management
  5. Headaches
  6. Hypertension
  7. weight gain.

Thought I touch on each of the above in my classes with an intention to demonstrate how therapeutic yoga poses and methods are tools designed to help alleviate some of the discomforts arising from above.  Looking forward to sharing some ideas and tips for staying well through the summer months and beyond.