YOGA – Your Own Great Awareness.
Yoga is for everybody and ‘every body’! Too many times I have heard people say ‘I’m not flexible enough to do yoga!’ and whilst at the beginning of my yoga journey, a part of me would have agreed, the difference was I wasn’t going to let my stiffness and inflexibility deter to not give it a go. After all, everything in life starts with a first step and your own internal cheer squad, saying “you go, girl, you got this”! In taking that first step, somehow yoga became my awareness, there was no looking back, I was hooked.
My yoga practice at first took me in the direction of trying to make all these different shapes with my body, many of which I still try and at least give a go or am like, “well that won’t happen today”, but I’m ok with that. You see, I find the statement “I’m not flexible enough” intriguing, yes we see the physical practice with our eyes, therefore we can make an assumption from a practical point of view that we can’t or won’t be able to move our body in this way. From our mental frame of mind based on what we can see, we create our own limitation.
If however we look at the benefits of yoga with increased flexibility being only one of its many great offerings and move that viewpoint to connect from our heart space, you would most probably agree in reading the below list, that the benefits resonate far deeper and beyond that of a just a physical practise:
- Reduced stress
- Anxiety relief
- Boosts wellbeing
- Mind-body awareness
- Improved balance
- Builds muscle strength
- Increases your blood flow
- Drains your lymph’s and boosts immunity
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Helps you focus
- Releases tension in your limbs
- Helps you sleep deeper
- Improves lung capacity
- Eases pain
- Improved brain function
- Protection from injury
These are just some of the many health benefits…
What I didn’t realise with my own yoga practice at first, was that the deeper my understanding, my yoga became less about making shapes with my body, and more about the inward journey of self-enquiry. I would turn up, roll out my mat with whatever baggage I bought from my day, and suddenly became aware of how my state of being was, my breath, scanning my body to see how it was feeling, and most important what mental state I was in. All good questions to ask yourself, even if it happened to be 9 pm at night on my living room floor. Many days when this was the case, I realised it was the first time I would consciously breathe in my day. Inhale – exhale – let go and repeat.
Connecting with my breath, changed the way I would move my body, and how my body with breath would move me. I found equanimity and clarity like I had never experienced and peace like I had not known. This, in turn, permeated many areas of my life, I was stressed less, found the ability to perceive how certain situations, people, and environments would make me feel, sense my intuition and act on it, and generally felt far more open and receptive to everyday engagements with a sense of ease.
Everybody does have a different journey when it comes to yoga, but there is also a common collective, a weave of magical thread that links you for a time to stillness and the alignment of something far greater than our energetic form.
Here at Consciously Living there is a category dedicated to yoga throughout NZ, there are many different studios, teachers and yoga styles waiting to be discovered. If you are considering starting a yoga practice, you can begin your journey right here, today.
Article by: Linda McIntosh
Hi, I’m Linda. Creator and Director of Consciously Living.