3 Reasons Why I do Yoga:
Yoga postures (asana) are the practice of connecting movement to the breath, but the wider practice of the eight limbs of yoga is to bring unity to the body, mind and spirit. Through mindful movement, connected to the breath, yoga asana can bring us back into our bodies, thus putting us back in touch with our true “Self.” Yoga is a “Practice”, it is not just an exercise routine, and the asanas are just one of the 8 Limbs of yoga. It is my “practice” of all 8 limbs of yoga that are the reasons I do yoga, but these are the 3 most important ones to me. They are why I practice, and why I share my practice through teaching.
1) Yoga gets me out of my head.
Practicing The asanas, Pranayama (breathing) and Mediation daily helps me to quiet the chatter in my mind. If I only focus on my breath when I am moving or sitting still, the chatter dissipates and I have this feeling of being outside of my body. Sometimes I can do my asana practice and be so checked out that I don’t even remember what poses I did!
2)Helps me Deal with daily life “stuff”
Because yoga is a “practice” and I do it every day, my body/mind has learned to rewire how it reacts to certain stressors. I like to use the analogy when I am teaching my students at my studio in Ormond Beach that when they are in a challenging pose and they start to hold their breath, they get irritated, frustrated, and want to get out of the pose immediately! I ask them to sit with being “uncomfortable”, to intentionally slow down their breath, and to release into the pose……so if you can practice this on the mat or on a meditation cushion you can take it off of the mat into daily life and apply the same principles. Because I do practice this, I can stop myself before I react, before I get upset, or anxious, and rewire my brain over time to react more positively.
3) Yoga makes me FEEL my body
I suffered with an eating disorder from age 16- 44 and was very disconnected from my body. I was a competitive athlete for many years and my physical body and my mind were both very strong…..but they were separate like two identities. After several years of a consistent yoga practice, I was able to experience myself beyond my physical body, and was able to have more introceptive awareness of my TRUE SELF beyond my physical appearance. For most of my life I was numb to emotions and sensations, but my physical yoga practice taught me how to FEEL my body in each pose, how my body could move through space, and how to connect the feelings and sensations with my breath to unite my body, mind, and spirit.
Why do YOU practice?? Share your thoughts with me. I’d love to know!