Some to ease muscular pain, some for relaxation, some to become more flexible or lean and some just because celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Robert Downey Jr. do it and look so good while they’re at it.
But this breathing and physical, asana practice has its ways of taking roots into out day to day life without us even noticing it.
You do become more flexible!
You see it first through the physical practice that teaches you how to relieve tight and sore muscles; you are able to move more freely if only in an inch more than yesterday. The breath practice also has a major role in it, because the relaxation of your mind releases tension in the entire body.
But most importantly, flexibility will also help you learn how to let go. From wanting to control every move and aspect of your life, you see how letting go doesn’t mean things are falling apart, but building up in a more healthy way.
You have a better understanding of forgiveness
You know this pose you just can’t get? You do it over and over and over, you know you are flexible or strong enough to get it, but still it seems so out of reach.
The yoga path offers us to accept these situations, to acknowledge that this is not a competition. Your body has its own rhythm and being upset at yourself will only get the opposite result; as anger fills you, your body shuts down instead of opening up a space for growth.
So in time you will learn to forgive yourself on and off the mat, and not only to yourself. As this nonjudgmental approach takes ahold in you, your will be able to direct it towards the people that surround you and you will learn to love and accept others freely. Beware, as this is a ‘vicious’ cycle; as your kindness to others will grow, so will their kindness towards you.
You will master the art of dedication
When you really want to soak up all that yoga can give you, you find the time to practice at least 3 times a week. In this hectic world you are able to make time to turn off the phone and just breathe and move through space as instructed by your yoga teacher/youtube video or just your inner self. We all have steady jobs, families, hobbies, phone addictions, but in these moments you just shut off and dedicate yourself completely to the sound of your breath and the feel of your body.
You find this dedication and passion later in many things that you do; maybe a new book you wanted to read but haven’t had the time, have a nice dinner with your grandparents or start a new business venture you never thought was really worth it.
This yoga path will demand a lot; that you get on your mat, that you sweat, put yourself in uncomfortable physical and mental situations or just exhaust you with routine. But in will undoubtedly give you so much in return, especially unique life lessons that no professor can teach you, and that you can only learn by walking this path.
Written by Shani.