"Letting go is the hardest asana."
No one doubts that exercise is crucial for a healthy body and mind. Yet few of us get enough exercise in our daily routines. For many, the problem is fitting a specific form of exercise into our hectic schedule… equipment and gyms aren’t typically portable. For others, finding the right form of exercise for their age and body type is a challenge. The solution may be yoga, a form of fitness that can fit into most schedules and be tailored to age and fitness level.
Healthy Mind, Body, Spirit
Yoga is an ancient discipline, originating in India. Yoga’s main purpose is uniting and balancing mind, body, and spirit. Though yoga is much more than merely physical postures, the beauty of this practice is that each person can take the journey as far as they wish to go. Though it has roots in the Indian culture, yoga’s philosophy is not religious or culture specific and compliments almost any lifestyle. Those who practice yoga discover strength, flexibility, and balance, engaging not only the body in healthy discipline, but also the mind and spirit. The result is usually a calmer aspect, a clearer mind, and a healthier body.
Enhancing the Experience
There are many different types of yoga, some of the more popular being vinyasa, ashtanga, kundalini, and bikram. Though most types use the same physical postures or poses, they each put a different emphasis on an aspect of the discipline. For example, in kundalini the purpose is freeing energy flow through the body and in bikram the goal is cleansing through intense heat. It’s not necessary to learn the types of yoga to reap the benefits, but it’s useful for those looking to enhance specific aspects of their yoga experience.
You Don’t Have to Be a Pretzel
Most yoga postures or poses are simple to learn and can be modified to each person’s physical limits. The beauty of yoga is anyone can practice it, from the very young to the very old, from couch potato to athlete. Even if a person doesn’t consider themselves flexible, balanced, or strong, they can begin yoga at a modified level, evolving the poses as they continue to practice. For those who like to push themselves, the poses can become quite challenging, but the main goal of yoga is to find balance and strength, which can be accomplished right at the beginning level postures.
Yoga also has the advantage of versatility… it can be practiced almost anywhere. Once a person learns the basic poses, they don’t need to attend a formal session. Though having an instructor and a class is helpful to learn and is motivating for some, yoga can also be learned through books, video, or the internet. Once learned, yoga stretches and poses can be done almost anywhere and anytime a person feels the need, for any length of time beneficial to them.
Everyone wants that perfect balance in life, health and happiness, security and satisfaction. That’s not often easy to accomplish, but yoga is a great tool to help you strive for those goals. With a regular yoga practice you can achieve a balanced mind and body. With a balanced mind and body, you can achieve anything.
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INHALE EXHALE SMILE® / LIFESTYLE MEDICINE
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.