So I am a little partial, but really it is on so many levels.
First it’s been around for a while, not the mat or downward facing dog, but the idea of inviting the body, mind and spirit to connect. Understanding that the divine will help in our efforts, now that concept is over 5000 years old. While I am not going into a history lesson, you should realize that connecting to the divine has always been the major consideration of yoga.
Secondly, it moves you in a way that gives you permission to see the big picture, turn into yourself, see the divine there on the inside and then participate in the world. This is on repeat, even when there isn’t a yoga mat anywhere close. While my practice is more and more meditation, I still walk through all the events in my life practicing yoga. How can I connect to the divine in this moment…sitting in traffic, dinner with family, time with my husband, reading graduate school work. Yes, I forget, but as soon as I feel myself going out of alignment, my yoga is there for me.
Thirdly, I have a body that looks good from the outside, at least that is what people keep telling me. But on the inside my body hurts most of the time. Anything high impact can set me back for weeks, and one unconscious step and my back can lock up or something spas out and then I am stuck. Really, I get stuck where I can’t move…I don’t want pity, it’s simply a testament for yoga as it keeps me feeling the best I can. There are postures, or asanas, that I stay away from as they don’t serve the organization of my physical body, but I am stronger than I have ever been in my life and still finding the confidence to try another challenging posture.
Fourth on the list, you always feel better, calm but energized, tone and lengthened, loving and serene. Flat out it just makes you feel good – especially if you have a teacher that gets how hard it was for you to step on your mat. And when you start feeling better, you notice you are making better choices in your life and surrounding yourself with people who also value you.
Fifth, it always ends with a relaxation of some kind. If you are doing yoga and your class doesn’t do a final relaxation, then ask them why not. Same goes for if your teacher is not valuing your energy and time of being there, ask them why they wanted to be a yoga teacher. In my opinion, you should feel uplifted when leaving yoga.
Yoga may not seem like the best thing for you, but it most certainly is for me!