By Elana B. Award-winning writer, advertiser, public speaker and internationally published author.
There are many physical reasons to begin practicing yoga. Yoga will increase your flexibility, strengthen and condition your muscles, and it will give you better balance and posture. That’s the good news. Now do you want to hear the great news? The artful discipline of yoga does not begin and end with physical exercise. Yoga can also help you with deeper personal growth in both the emotional and spiritual aspects of life. As you become aware of your breathing, body movements and thoughts, you can work on the issues inside you. So not only is yoga a great stimulus for creating positive energy and building a healthy body, it is good for the mind as well. As a positive and health affirming process, yoga can help you throughout your life.
In many ways, yoga takes on the form of meditation, and during these times of silence and introspection, you can reconnect with who you are. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught- up listening to the negative influences all around us, whether this is friendships, peers, or news. The saying, “Misery loves company” comes to mind. If all you listen to is negative stimuli, or surround yourself in a negative atmosphere, it’s easy to let wounded people bring us down in their pain, pity, and blame. In yoga, all this negative chatter goes out the window as you create your own space. All the external voices dissipate, allowing you to communicate with your inner, most honest self. Yoga allows you to face fears, silence and release frustrations, and overcome worries. The bottom line, yoga, like meditation, helps welcome emotional self healing.
By releasing tension, yoga also helps your lymphatic system. In this way, it allows you to not only see but feel health in a new and sparkling light which will help create mind, body and spirit connections. The more intuitive you become on how your body moves and feels, the more you can respond to the nonverbal communication. You not only learn how all of your muscles and bones are consciously connected, you realize that your actions are connected to each movement and action your body takes, which, in turn, may help you process the world around and how you interact with others. Moments in time become reflections, as you see yourself in others. You have known aches and pains and through this process you will develop an understanding of how to release negative energy and help heal your physical body and your inner thought processes. How? When something happens to you, it is easier to realize your role in pulling it to you versus pushing it away by the way you think, act, and set intentions. The more intuitive, empathic, and conscious you become, you ascend beyond just connecting verbally. By tuning out of the external world, its expectations and fears, you find yourself lifting to new heights of appreciation, self worth, and love for all. This can bring an empowering sense of spiritual purpose.
For those who are scared to connect in profound ways, yoga is definitely for you, too. Yoga is not only for stretching muscles; it is an open door for stretching your character and connection to all living things. As yoga helps you let go of physical tension, you can also let go of negative thought patterns and open your heart to healing.
Yoga provides people with a multitude of benefits to their overall health, improving everything from mood and circulation to energy levels and aches. While most people are aware of this, there are different forms of yoga and other stretching and mood stabilizing techniques to manage overall physical health while aiding in emotional and spiritual relief as well; some others include hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga (sun salutations), ashtanga yoga, power yoga, Bikram hot yoga, as well as tai-chi, qigong and meditation. All of these forms of stretching has the potential to help mood as well as physical well-being. If you are thinking, “How is meditation stretching? It is loosening and relaxing the mind to stretch beyond its current constraints.
So are there any pitfalls to YOGA?
The only pitfalls is over-use and abuse so this is entirely up to you and the instructor you follow. One of yoga’s pitfalls is the posing-for-appearance syndrome, something that’s popularized in yoga magazines and overdone by some instructors. By practicing lightly and slowly advancing as you stretch, you can avoid pushing beyond current limits and this will help insure that you do not injure muscles or ligaments. In other words, keep your ego out of the practice. Go at an even pace. Do not force a movement. Gently ease into each new position . Each week you can see if you are ready to advance a little further. Find a good instructor and a safe space where people actually enjoy the movements, the overall health benefits, and are not trying to out- do the person next to them. Remember, yoga is physical, mental and emotional therapy that can release stress, tension and promote overall balance in the body, mind and spirit. Enjoy. Namaste!
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, plan or activity — including vitamins, herbal supplements and natural remedies. Also, tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling.
Elana B. is a multi award-winning writer, speaker, and internationally published author. As a writer and ghostwriter she has written hundreds of stories from books to shorts to screenplays.
A gifted storyteller, Elana B.’s new children’s series, Too Terribly Busy and the “Too Terribly” Series of books, teach in a fun, creative way some of the most important lessons in life. Through this entertaining series of books, children will learn morals, manners, how important it is to achieve goals, as well as conflict resolution. Sneak peek of the first story in the new series: TooTerriblyBusy-SP1.
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