Divini Rae: Surviving the Chaos of Life through Yoga – Part 2
I do yoga poses throughout the day. After hours writing at my computer, I stretch my stiff shoulders and arms. When I need a boost of energy, I do energizing poses. When I am feeling exhausted at the end of the day, I do restorative inversion poses. To the bewilderment of many, I even find myself naturally standing in tree pose when holding a conversation.
Your body grows stronger, more toned, and more flexible as you move from one asana, or pose, to the other.
“Rather than building muscle, yoga builds muscle tone,” says Shakta Kaur Khalsa, author of the K.I.S.S. Guide to Yoga. “Because yoga helps maintain a balanced metabolism, it also helps to regulate weight. Additionally, yoga stretches muscles lengthwise, causing fat to be eliminated around the cells, thus reducing cellulite.”
Yoga is Great For All Ages
As well as being fun for children, learning yoga develops self-discipline and will enhance their physical and mental health. My eldest child often does yoga with me at home, and I’ve noticed it helps calm her as well.
Asanas are good for developing coordination and help to improve concentration and memory. Regular practice can enable young people to keep their natural flexibility for many years.
Older people often find that gentle yoga exercises allow them to retain mobility and may relieve problems such as arthritis and poor circulation.
“During pregnancy, yoga promotes good health in both mother and unborn child. Asanas lessen the effects of such problems as backaches, overall pain and discomfort, and depression. Most women who practice yoga find that it can make labor easier and shorter. Although some asanas have to be modified during pregnancy, their essence is perfectly suited to this time of expanded self-awareness.”
Everyone can benefit from following a regular yoga routine, as it counteracts many of the problems suffered in modern life. Asanas release the physical tensions caused by hours of sitting, deep breathing gives vitality by increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain, and meditation enhances the powers of concentration. Yoga improves strength and flexibility in the mind as well as the body, and aids relaxation. Yoga can enable one to relax fully, and promotes sound sleep. It also improves digestion and stimulates circulation. It frees the practitioner both physically and mentally, and often heightening intuition and creativity.
Western doctors and scientists are discovering additional health benefits of yoga. Studies have shown that it can relieve the symptoms of several common and potentially life-threatening illnesses: arthritis, arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue, diabetes, AIDS, asthma and obesity.
Many believe it even fends off the ravages of old age. A growing number of doctors are following the lead of cardiologist Dr. Dean Ornish and incorporating yoga into their patient recovery programs.
Yoga becomes part of your Spiritual life.
People from all religions practice yoga. Yoga is not a religion but a science that has been practiced for thousands of years. Yoga teaches positive and balanced living in how we deal with others and ourselves. As I work on a difficult pose, I learn patience and forgiveness and how to “let go.”
Yoga becomes part of your mental life.
Yoga teaches you to focus on breathing while you hold the poses. This attention to breath is calming; it dissolves stress and anxiety. I use yogic breathing whenever I’m stuck in traffic, when I’m pissed off or anxious, and when my mind feels scattered. Yogic breathing calms me. A yoga instructor of mine refers to this as “Yoga off the mat.” What I breathe is who I am.
Deep shit, man. 🙂
Anyone can do yoga! No matter how young or old, whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete. Size and fitness level do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose. The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like ideal. Do have fun! Yoga isn’t about taking yourself too seriously.
Start by going to any beginning yoga class. Read the class descriptions and choose the class that sounds good to you. I’m partial to heated Vinyasa flow to dance music. Don’t give up if the first class you try doesn’t feel like a good fit for you. Continue to try different classes and look for a teacher you like, one who challenges you but does not push, offers modifications, and also works one-on-one with students.
The investment in starting yoga is minimal. Expensive yoga clothing is totally unnecessary. All you need is comfortable clothing that allows you to move, a yoga mat for cushioning and to keep from slipping (can be found for $20 bucks online), and a bottle of water. If there isn’t a yoga studio where you live practice with a video and read books.
Always remember: “No pain, no gain” is NOT the yoga way. If it hurts, stop. Patience and feeling good about yourself and your world is the way of the yogi.
Leave a yoga practice feeling energized, not tired. If you feel tired after yoga it means you spent the time “fighting” yourself, trying to force yourself into poses. In yoga, you “surrender” to the pose by letting go of the tension.
~ Be Happy, Healthy and Fit in Mind, Body and Spirit ~ Visit DiviniFit.com for daily health, fitness & lifestyle tips ~
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