Every day, more people are practicing Yoga and reaping the benefits of more energy, less stress, flexibility, strength and an a greater sense of calm and clarity. While we use exercises to achieve this higher state of wellness, the practice of Yoga goes far beyond the physical postures, breathing, and even meditation.
Yoga means "to unite," and it is a collection of practices over 5000 years old. Most people think of Yoga and they think of the physical movements and the crazy, pretzel-like positions. But all of the poses, called asanas, were designed to help Yogis stretch their body and deepen their breathing so that they could sit longer in meditation. That is why asana translates to mean "comfortable seat." Yet even the breathing and meditation exercises do not fully encompass the practice of Yoga.
Yoga helps us unite our physical efforts with a mental intention so that we can access a deeper mind-body connection more often throughout our daily life. Its not about achieving a temporary state of enlightenment, or even experiencing a sudden realization that fades away. Yoga teaches us to navigate our lives with a greater sense of peace and purpose. The exercises are not the destination, but they help us stay on track - moving toward the life that we want to create for ourselves.
Yoga helps us stay committed and dedicated to our personal growth, and the practice is a reminder of how powerful we are when we are united within ourselves.
When you come to a Yoga class, remember that it is only one step on your path, just one day in your life. So bring all of yourself to each exercise and see how it starts to change your life.