We all know the effort it takes to commit to a course of yoga.
Here are some reasons why Yoga is best served with commitment and regularity:
Our Body Responds
Some people say they are not flexible enough for Yoga but lack of flexibility is actually a great reason to do yoga. Many people find that over time and with a commitment to practice, the body responds by becoming more flexible. This flexibility is accompanied by a change in posture. The effects of the practices are felt through a more open and upright posture and a firmer and more balanced posture. This opening is mirrored in our attitude and approach towards the world around us and this expansion is sustained by regular practice.
A commitment to yourself
Yoga is an ancient tradition of purification, designed to rid the body of toxins and the mind of unhelpful thoughts and worries. Each time we practice we are cleansing ourselves of the things that don’t serve us or the thoughts that keep us cycling in old patterns of worry or struggle. As we practice yoga, we are clearing away the old to make space for the new. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this happens over time and not all at once. By committing to a regular practice we are honouring and paying respect to ourselves in this mental and physical cleansing practice.
A Reference Point
Practicing yoga regularly gives us a reference point for a calm and relaxed state. Each time we practice yoga, it relaxes us. This is why we do it, but we all know how easy it is to become tense and anxious once we get back to the grind of daily life. By regularly tuning in to ourselves and revisiting this relaxed state, we are giving ourselves a reference point to a new way of being and over time we’re reminded of this more and more in daily life. This reference can help us compare the changes in our body and mind over time. From week to week we notice how easy or difficult relaxation can be, depending on anything from the weather to the demands of our family or work, but over time we also discover ourselves gravitating to a more relaxed and calm state.
It is easy to grow distracted, even by things we think are good for us. There are so many diets, vitamins, health foods and exercises out there promising a better life. The media flood us with solutions ranging from relaxing holidays to spa treatments or radical dietary changes. We are told these will ensure we feel great and look amazing. Yoga reminds us that the only thing that keeps us feeling great and looking amazing lies within each of us. All we need to do is remember this and regularly return to this inner state of calm and peaceful abiding.
I look forward to sharing term 3 of the beginners course with you if you chose this commitment to yourself in the practice of Yoga. This term we discover the invigorating, yet balancing effects of Surya Namaskara which is a 12 pose sequence of practices constituting a complete practice in itself, and a great way to release tension and build energy.
Prem and Shanti