Namaste and welcome….
When people hear the word yoga, all sorts of images spring to mind, people trying to contort their bodies into seemingly impossible positions, bearded men with robes imparting wisdom, bare foot hippies wearing dungarees etc, etc,. Yoga is none of this, yet all of it.
The west has been saturated with yoga recently and with so many styles and fusions emerging, it can be a minefield for anyone wanting to make that first step onto the mat.
All you need to practice yoga is your breath. Even if you have limited mobility, impaired vision etc., yoga is available to you, it is available for everyone.
So why yoga? The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means to unite/join the mind and body. Through regular practice of yoga, your awareness starts to increase, the postures (asanas) make the body strong and the breathing exercises bring focus and concentration to the mind. This ´union´ brings balance and contentment to your whole being. The subtle energies in the body are aligned as well as bone and muscle structure, its very much like fine tuning a car engine for optimum performance. The postures act as lubrication keeping the joints supple and pliable (like oil in an engine), meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises), charge the battery, to give you a constant stream of steady energy. As opposed to fluctuating from being hyperactive to exhausted, your energy is better managed. So what do you want to be? A second hand old banger or a sleek, top performance racing car?
Yoga is a discipline and to reap the benefits and like everything it has to be practiced and eventually you will reach a higher standard of living and a new level of consciousness.
However, yoga is such a vast subject and is not just limited to postures and breathing exercises and doesn’t have to be restricted to the mat, it can be applied to everyday life, such as mindfulness in your actions, seeing the bigger picture rather than just focusing on the self (ego) and of course, service to others. I know many people who do not practice physical yoga but are so selfless in their actions, I consider them yogis. With time and discipline the ego begins to melt away and the layers of conditioning begin to unravel revealing your true nature. When your true nature is exposed, deep healing can take place.