In today’s world of high stress and several lifestyle oriented maladies, many people are resorting to yoga for not just its health benefits but also for seeking a way to handle this unimaginable stress levels. What exactly is yoga? Is it only meditation or chanting Omkar? Is it just another way to lose weight or is it just about mastering a breathing technique or wearing the sandalwood tilak on your forehead?
Philosophy Of Yoga
One would be reminded of the seven brothers blindfolded and asked to describe an elephant. Each brother touched a different part of the elephant and described it in their own way about what they perceived to be an elephant. The same is true about Yoga. As the word ‘yoga’ suggests it is a communion of the physical and spiritual self, and we all grasp it as per our perception. We all experience it only as deep as we let our inner consciousness to feel it or experience it.
Perform For Yourself
Right from the beginning, practice yoga for your own. Do not go for a show of strength and posture. Remember only those, who are able to communicate with their inner-self, find a bearing of their existence and are comfortable with their current state despite the challenges are always the ones that excel. The various yogic practices intrinsically believe in bringing about the right amount of balance between your external and inner self and the sooner you realize and practice it, the better you will be.
Practice & Practice
The term yogabhyash or ‘yoga practice’ has a very deep implication. It means that the more you practice yoga, the better you get. Do not strive to be the best on day one but always strive to be the one who perseveres without frustration, the one who does not give up easily and is ready to invest as much time as required to reach the ultimate goal. Constant practice is what will refine the various asanas or pose and help you reap complete benefit from them.
Not Mere Weight Loss
Remember the cardinal fact about yoga- it is not merely a weight loss or weight training module. Rather it is a complete way of living. Yes, the weight loss is one of the many benefits you derive from it and goes a long way in transforming your entire lifestyle. The weight-loss that you experience is more an impact of the overall right living norms that you exercise like right eating, timely eating, relieving stress, easing pain and tiredness from your body and less reliance on external stimulators like tea, coffee, alcohol and the like.
Benefit Of Props
Many a times as beginners you might be tempted to copy your guru or teacher and try doing it exactly like they are doing. Well, it is not the right thought at the right time. You must understand the benefit of yoga is not in exactly how it looks but more in what it does. So if the purpose of a specific asana is to stretch a specific body part, look at how well you do it. It is surprising that how effectively you can do it using props at beginner level and then graduate to no-prop perfection.
Even simple exercises like the vajrasana will be more effectively done with the help of a cushion support near your ankles. Once you get used to doing it regularly for an extended period like 6-7 months, you will be surprised how easily you can achieve it without props.
It Is Difficult
Let’s face it yoga is not as simple and effortless as the teachers make it appear. Be ready to stretch yourself and even sustain initial fall and minor injuries before you attain perfection. They say if you are not ready to fall you cannot learn to cycle, won’t be wrong to say the same about yoga too.
The efficacy of an asana is intensely linked to the person’s breathing practices. So it is very important that you pay attention to your breathing while exercising. Remember to breathe right and you will see the road to perfection shortening progressively.
The benefits of yoga extend to your everyday life. You develop patience, perseverance and learn to forgive and move on. Embrace it with open hands and you will be amazed at the gifts you are endowed with everyday.