Today about 18 million people practice yoga. Most people practice yoga for the physical health benefits such as increased flexibility, stronger muscles and better balance. Some people think that the mental and emotional benefits such as greater clarity of mind and stress reduction are just as significant or even outweigh the physical benefits. But what is this practice that has been around for thousands of years really about?
“At the heart of yoga is the message that every human being is, by nature, balanced and whole, and that this balanced inner self cannot be permanently destroyed or damaged”- Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik, Psy.D. Yoga becomes part of your physical, mental and spiritual life. The poses (or asanas) are meant to tone muscles and increase flexibility as well as train your mind to focus on the present moment. There is also something else that happens when we practice yoga, and that is that we become aware of the concept of “oneness” and connection with the world around us. Yoga is practiced by people of all religions and walks of life. It is a practice that teaches patience, forgiveness and gentleness.”By definition the yogi is that member of society who is striving to find a way to live harmoniously with Mother Nature; to live in a way that would enhance the lives of all others.” – Sharon Gannon.
Anyone can do yoga, no matter how young or old you are, whether you are athletic or not. There are no prerequisites as yoga poses can be modified to accommodate anyone. Maybe yoga can be your stepping stone to living a more enjoyable, involved and healthy life.