How to describe what it is like to be in love with someone who never felt it before? That tingly “butterfly work” in our stomach? Tough job. OK, let’s try it with music analogy. How would you describe the melody of your favorite song? Or verbalize the feeling of being “lost and found” when THAT sound shuts out all other sounds in the world? Difficult huh?
The same goes for yoga! But first, roll out your yoga mat!
We can elaborate on it in detail, use all the available epithets, turn the words into ornaments but at the end it all comes down to the personal experience, “face to face” encounter with the subject of our interest, preferably by using as many senses possible.
And that’s it! Practice yoga, see it yourself. End of the article. Well, not so fast!
It would be unfair to neglect the power of words, after all, they form our thoughts and thoughts are what precede every action. It sounds like a simple formula, but just thinking about yoga won’t necessarily bring you onto the yoga mat. Your legs will. However, let’s first tickle the mind with some yoga basics. Then the legs are coming!
So, what is yoga anyway?
The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word yuj or yuk, which means to connect or to join together. It does not refer to connecting your forehead with your toes or joining your legs behind your neck.
The purpose of yoga is to unite the body together with the mind. In other words, to harmonize physical actions, emotions and thoughts.
Most people are initially attracted to physical aspect of yoga. They start with the practice as a way to stay in shape, to increase their flexibility, tone up, stretch their muscles or simply to gain some strength.
However, along with the physical postures known as asanas, yoga also focuses on breathing and the very quality of breath, concentration and meditation practices, relaxation techniques and many other self-reflection “tools”…
Health benefits of regular yoga practice are numerous, ranging from stress decrease and anxiety relief to reduced risk factors for heart disease, improved lung function, better joint flexibility, metabolism boost and so on. So, there is nothing wrong about starting with the body first, fitness is a great side effect, but it’s not the only goal.
Through the practice of asanas, we begin to respect and accept the limitations of our body. We learn to treat it with kindness, compassion, and patience, but also with regularly showing up on the mat, we develop the habit of discipline, persistence and commitment.
With the time, we naturally start to apply the same concept on our thoughts, thinking patterns, disruptive emotions and all other mind-constructed outputs that may not be serving us for the benefit all the time.
Body and mind are interconnected, whatever effects one will have a repercussion on the other. Yoga has the potential to be much more than just a workout. It can change your heart and I don’t mean just the muscle.