Better Living through Yoga

Tree Pose

Tree Pose

I started doing yoga about 2 years ago and it is now a blessing I cherish every day!

I have worked out in some form or fashion, whether it be, lifting weights, running, eliptical, kick-boxing, Pilates, jazzercise/zumba or 'you name it' since I was 15 years old.  Exercise really gives me energy, as opposed to what you may think...but Yoga, is something more.

Yoga is definitely a workout.  I sweat more in yoga than I have in any other type of workout.  Anyone who says yoga is easy..simply has never tried it...or never really got into it.  Holding poses gives your body strength, Learning to do Tree pose, Dancer and Arm balances gives you more balance!  And learning to stand in Mountain Pose or properly do a Chaturanga, gives my body a sense of alignment that I haven't felt since I was a child.  But still Yoga is more than that!

Yoga is learning how to breathe deeply and focus on your breath to unclutter your mind. Yoga is sending breath to areas of your body that need more oxygen, and 'self healing'.  Yoga is learning that you sometimes have 'off' days, and it is okay not to be perfect.  Yoga is striving to always be better, that is why it is a 'practice'...and slowly, over time, we get better at it!  As you practice yoga, you learn from your mistakes, and your body gives you feedback when you go beyond your limits and experience pain.  We have to learn from these signals and not repeat these mistakes in order to prevent injury.  

Yoga is community...even though it is your own practice, on your own mat, you have to be aware of others around you. There are people there to help you bwhen you fall, and instructors to seek guidance from if you just can't get it right.  If you keep trying, all of a sudden, you gain more openness, more balance, and more strength.  As you do, you can take on more challenges and share insights you have learned  with those around you.

I think we can learn a lot from Yoga on how to approach life.   First, we must breathe!  That is, we must break everything down and focus on the fundamentals until we get them right.  If you have a huge issue you are dealing with, break it down, deal with the essentials first, then you can go from there.  We also must learn from our mistakes, as we do in yoga, otherwise we will hurt ourselves and those around us.  In life, just like when yogis are on our mats, we are responsible for our own lives!  But, we are here to help others and should seek guidance from others, whenever we can.  It doesn't make us weaker to ask for makes us stronger!  And as we go through our life journey, if we continue to try, if we seek wisdom, if we improve ourselves and if we reach out to help others improve themselves, we will be better for it, and the world will be better for it, as well!



Carol Smith