People who find their way to a yoga class attend for a wide variety of reasons. For some it’s simply an exercise class or a means to lose some weight; while others see it as their ‘me time’ to relax and focus on something else. There is no right or wrong reason to take up yoga, if it is whatever is right for you, at that time.
For me, there are many complex and simple reasons why I have practised yoga over the years. Basically, it comes down to quiet time on my mat for me. This is equally true if I’m attending a class or practising at home. Stepping onto the mat (which can often be a challenge) brings with it a sense of peace and control into my life.
As I have learned more about this ancient discipline, the benefits I feel have also grown. Now I can focus more on the meditative side and enjoy the way my breathing regulates and calms my mind and body. This helps me to decompress from the daily pressures of life. For an hour, or so, I can focus on myself, check in with how I feel and forget about deadlines and priorities. So, when I go back to face the realities of bills and emails from the boss, I can work in a more structured and productive way.
It’s all about getting into a routine
When I don’t have a regular yoga routine, I don’t sleep well, I eat poorly and my mind becomes very erratic. This results in my feeling bad and having migraines. These symptoms disappear with the regular prescription of yoga. My mind and body are tired out and ready for sleep; I’m more organised, carefully planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks. In turn, this prevents the migraines and catching every bug that goes around.
Stepping onto my mat is a reminder of what is truly important in life. For me that means to be happy and to be a good person. Focusing on these two elements during my practice makes me smile and brings the fun into whatever I’m working on. At the moment, this is including Bhujapidasana (shoulder press pose) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (upward bow pose.) Both postures are teaching me to have patience with myself and enjoy the journey towards achieving them.
So many benefits
As my yoga journey, has unfolded it has brought me new friends, challenges and accomplishments. I’ve learned that my practice is not a destination, working with a celebrity teacher or achieving a certain advanced posture. Instead it is about the journey and what we learn on the way. Every time I roll my mat out I learn something new – patience, humility, laughter, fun, discipline. Whatever I learn is another step on my journey and that is the real reason why I practice yoga. Oh and I also happen to really love it too! 🙂
2 Replies to “Why I practice yoga?”
Brilliant first blog Gillian, I love how you explain everyone has a different reason to come to yoga and why you do 🙂
Hi. I found your blog in the WordPresd reader. I took my first Yoga class 6 years ago. I have tried different classes on and off but it never really stuck. For me yoga hurts (my shoulders usually), it’s hard, it’s not ‘comfortable’, but when it’s done, I feel REALLY good. After having a baby, I actually crave the stretching and find myself doing the pre-natal DVD I used during my last few months of pregnancy. I am not sure I will ever be a lover of yoga, but it will fun to follow your path. 🙂
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