Should You Practice Yoga? Is Yoga for You? Here Are Reasons Why IT IS!
Your reason for wanting to practice yoga or your reason for currently practicing yoga is not important. The important thing is that you have overcome previous prejudices and postponements to try yoga for yourself. You have overcome the biggest obstacle.
Perhaps you are doing yoga to develop a healthy body or a beautiful body. There is nothing wrong with this motive and the practices of yoga will help you attain this. All I say to you is: “Be aware of your mind. Do you feel more peaceful? Have you developed greater concentration?” If so, then through personal experience you will know that yoga practices have a beneficial influence on the mind as well as the body.
Perhaps you have some illness or body ailment, which you want to eliminate and have come to yoga as a last resort. Whether it is physical or mental, it does not matter, for yoga can help, as the very essence of yoga is tied up with these faculties.
Many people have unsatisfactory relations with their wife or husband, friends or colleagues. The practice of yoga will help to put your relationship on a sure, positive basis. Remember, a relationship improves in the depth of understanding according to the level of self-awareness. Yoga aims at enabling you to know yourself and to see your foibles and nature in others. In this way, understanding arises and through this, your personal relationships will improve.
Perhaps you have heard that yoga can improve or rectify sexual relationships. Yes, this is true and it is a perfectly good reason for starting yoga, especially since inadequate sexual relations are often the cause of much unhappiness and frustration. A body that is perfectly healthy and efficient and a mind that is tuned to a high point of sensitivity and calmness, as they are through yoga practices, increase one’s ability to enjoy sexual union or remove the obstacles that at present make it impossible.
Maybe you have religious beliefs but without any spiritual experience. Or maybe you have no religious beliefs and you seek spiritual experience. Or perhaps you have no belief in the existence of spiritual experience but have come to yoga merely to see what it is all about. It does not matter — you have come. That is the main thing.
What I am trying to say is that whatever your situation in life, whatever you believe or do not believe, whatever you want from life, yoga will help you because it changes your whole being and hence your relationship with and attitude to life itself.
The ultimate point of yoga and my yoga classes is to expand your consciousness, to open your eyes to the vast number of things around you, of which at present you are unaware. It was Shakespeare who said: “There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” We must keep our minds open to new possibilities. It is yoga that shows us the way.
Please, share with me some of your thoughts regarding the question of whether or not you should practice Yoga. I’d love to open the discussion up with all of you. For additional reasons though, consider this: Research has found that yoga may help relieve pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as prevent heart disease and aid in weight loss. :)
NEED SOME MORE INSPIRATION?
I’ve been studying Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois’s books (Yoga Mala) and Youtube videos about Ashtanga Yoga over the past two weeks. Just reintroducing myself to the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga — the most basic/beginner of Ashtanga yoga practices — in order to adapt my current injuries to my yoga practice. My studies have reminded me of how I spent my time before studying Yoga at the KPJAY Shala in Mysore. In order to prepare for the course, I read a bunch of books, watched videos, and luckily came across a yoga inspiration in the form of a young woman named Laruga Edrich. She maintains an active blog called PEACELOVEYOGA. On her site, she often talks about her own experience into yoga and her the constant fluctuations in her own practice. Although she’s an uncommonly flexible and advanced yogi, her outlook towards her practice is fresh and relatable. What I love the most is how full her blog is. From personal experiences, quotes, art, and videos — it has everything. For example, I love the following quote, as it applies to our current topic:
“You should not be practicing to have a ‘good’ practice, but instead to keep steadiness within yourself. Practice happily regardless of whether it is ‘good’ or not. Sometimes some postures will not be possible, but when you accept the good and the bad and everything becomes equal for you, that is yoga.”
- R. Sharath Jois
Take a look at the following video interview with Laruga which I am pulling from her most recent blog posts in order to hear from her own mouth on Ashtanga Yoga, Personal Practice, Teaching, Fourth Series.