The Gifts of Yoga
There are days that you think are bad. But when you have a day where something bad actually happens, it’s funny how quickly you can tell the difference. Today is the first day in a long while where something happened to just spin my world around and make me look at everything in my life in one instant and take stock of what is actually important and what I’ve been treating as important. And they are two entirely different things. My mind is in a state of panic as is my nervous system. I feel the pressure building up but it has nowhere to go, besides the tears spilling out unceasingly. No matter how extremely scary it feels and how hopeless my mind is telling me to feel, I can’t help but know that I have my yoga practice to help carry me through this trial. I want to scream and shout and throw things, which I’ve never actually done in my life, but I’m convinced it would bring me some type of relief. My stomach is in knots and the pressure on my chest is heavy, you know the feeling, when you try to breath and it feels like someone is sitting on your chest, so all it seems like you’re doing is breathing out. And even then the exhale is shallow. I feel like the carpet has been swept out from under me, like the fog I’ve been in for months has vanished and replaced itself with poisonous fumes. I feel helpless for sure, but I keep looking over at the mat lying on the floor a few feet from the couch where I sit and it is calling to me, with promises of relief. My practice will not solve my problems, but it will wrap me with its gifts of stillness, help me secure my footing and allow my spirit a moment of calm. That is what yoga offers me. And for that I am eternally grateful.Learn More
5 Things you DON’T need to begin yoga
2. I’ll say it again, Flexibility
“I could never do yoga. I am not flexible at all!” This is often the first thing I hear when I ask someone if they’ve ever tried yoga. Flexibility is not necessary for yoga asana practice. There are modifications available for any pose and tools to assist you in poses that utilize flexibility.
3. A tight bod
That will come in time. Most people think that yoga is only for slim 20 year old girls. It is not.
That too will come with time. I spent the majority of my first yoga class wondering what was going to happen next, looking at the clock and devising my grocery list in my head. And even still I left feeling better than I had ever felt. One of the goals of yoga is to simply “be present”. This sounds great but can be EXTREMELY difficult. Over time yoga will help you release the need to think ahead. And I consider this gift an enormous blessing.
There is an endless debate in the West whether yoga is religious. I do not care to enter into that dialogue here. Yoga does not care if you are religious or not. Yoga will not judge you or your beliefs. It asks of you two things: show up and be present. The regular practice of yoga will provide you
The act of being present can be considered a spiritual act.