Balancing Effort and Ease
Why do yoga?
Peace of mind, body awareness, mindfulness, coping with physical and mental ailments, and total overall fitness are some of the major advantages.
Experts believe that overall fitness includes cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular strength/endurance, flexibility, body composition (percentage of fat content), and lung function. Yoga addresses all of these. Overall fitness requires a varied yoga practice for at least an hour, 3 to 5 times a week.
Or you can reap significant benefits from just one class or private session a week. Here’s what one of my students had to say when she first started yoga:
What is yoga?
Yoga is a spectrum of things from restorative yoga with props to fast sweaty sun salutations. Yoga is breathing deeply. Yoga is meditation. Yoga is using the body to still the mind. Yoga helps us mine our inner core of steadiness, peace and happiness.
Yoga means union: first, of our body, mind, and spirit; then, of each one of us with God, the higher power, or the greater consciousness, or with whatever you believe is greater than you alone. Further, we are all connected to each other on this earth. Wayne Dyer said, “Think of yourself as connected to everyone else on this planet by an invisible string.”
When and how?
Yoga begins wherever you are, no matter what condition your body or mind is in. It is not about competing with yourself or with other students. “Kripalu” yoga means being compassionate. Swami Kripalu said, “Every time you judge yourself you break your heart.”
It is about opening to yourself and finding your edge. A line from a Rilke poem captures this approach to yoga and to life:
“No forcing, no holding back, the way it is with children”