Some years ago I started practicing yoga and have been doing on and off. On and off doesn’t mean I sometimes go and sometimes don’t – it means that I have long periods where I keep a regular yoga practice and then other periods where I don’t do it at all.
I am still trying to figure out whether this post is for the world or just an internal reminder for the days when I really don’t feel like attending my yoga class.
The thing is, every time I do maintain a regular practice I start wondering why I ever stop because it is just so good for every part of my being:
Increases Body Consciousness
As soon as step into the mat and look inside I just start being aware of how my body and mind are. It might be the case, as it was today, where my body is feeling super tense (even though I didn’t really think it was) or it might be the case where my mind is wondering and I cannot get it to settle. However, as my teacher says “Observe it and accept it”.
Increases Body Functions Overall
I can say that after a couple of weeks practicing twice a week my body starts to wake up – which is an amazing expression to say that it starts aching everywhere. Even those muscles we have no idea exist. Every single muscle wakes up, send a little bit of pain to the brain as he says “Hello There!! I exist and am here! Thank for waking me up – it has been too long!”. Although it doesn’t sound too good – it is amazing. You start feeling alive and active, you start feeling your body is more elastic and flexible. It just responds to you. And before you notice it he will ask you for more – just a bit more stretching.
Personally – it just feels amazing!
Maintains Emotional Stability
You know those days when you could just kill someone? Or you’re just feeling really bad about yourself? Those are days where I really have an internal negotiation with myself about whether I should attend the class. Fortunately, the best part of my usually wins and it all just feels so stupid afterward.. Stupid because I know that if I go I will leave the class feeling better. If I was angry when I got there, I won’t feel angry anymore at the end. If I was feeling bad about myself, I leave the class feeling relaxed and with a general sense of well being. Even in those days where my body or mind simply don’t respond. Actually, those are the ones where I leave the class feeling more centered and stable.
Activates the Mind
My mind wanders A LOT. Even when I am focusing on breathing sometimes my mind just goes off somewhere else. I get a lot of new and creative solutions in this process. I get so many new insights and I leave class with my mind feeling completely renewed – as if starting over.
Also, I don’t really know how to explain it, I just get really focused on classes and when I do Yoga periodically. It is like I know where I want my life to go and I can see clearly how to get there. Almost as if it created a brand new planning system in my mind to do stuff. It is actually amazing – mostly because I do struggle with focusing a lot. Yoga has been my salvation, in a way!
Breathing, breathing, breathing
Yoga reminds me that we don’t know how to do really basic stuff: walking, standing, sitting and, most of all, breathing! When I do yoga I am conscious of the fact that on a regular day I don’t use my breathing capacities at all. I just survive. In a class, we take deep breaths which actually fill the whole lungs. We learn to understand where our breathing is going, and using it to help us with movement and stretches. It is actually an amazing thing and we do learn how to breathe! Which we should already know, btw.
Today I went to yoga first thing in the morning. I didn’t completely felt like it – but I knew I had to go!
It was amazing and, as I left class, I knew I had to write this for myself. To remember why I go and the amazing benefits I get from it! 🙂