WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STARTING YOGA
Starting is always the hardest part of doing anything and consistency is the second hurdle you have to overcome but if you want results, you have to do the work.
A lot of people don’t attempt yoga because they think it is hard. You see some lean, fit person contorted into an impossible shape and you think ‘nah, that’s not for me.’ The truth is, whether you think its easy or you think its hard, you are right.
No aspect of yoga is a piece of cake. Not the spiritual, mental or physical aspect. You have to work very hard at it and you have to come to yoga with an open mind. You have to approach it with a positive mindset or you will most likely get bored or frustrated and stop doing it.
But why should you consider yoga?
The simple answer to this is that Yoga is excellent for you. No matter what you weigh, what you look like, your age, your gender, your religious beliefs, your feelings, it is the best choice you will ever make.
Lets start with the physical aspect of yoga which is the major reason most people attempt it.
There are many types of yoga; Iyengar, Ashtanga, Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga etc. Each of these targets a specific thing, weight loss, mindfulness, relaxation, whatever you are looking for, there is a type of yoga that is just perfect for you. For those looking to lose some weight and to stay fit, Jivamukti, Kundalini, and Power/Vinyasa Yoga are excellent choices. You don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights if that’s not your cup of tea, all you need to do is find an instructor that teaches any of these types of yoga and you are good to go.
A great body is not the only benefit you stand to gain, the internal workings of your body will improve when you practice consistently. Your metabolism will be balanced, your joints will be fluid, your body will be much more flexible, your cardiovascular health will improve, you will be more energetic and less prone to injury. These are just a few of the benefits you stand to gain from practising yoga.
Now to the mental aspect of yoga
Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you are not right in your head, you can’t be right anywhere else. Mental health problems can be very difficult to diagnose and to cure and choosing to see a psychologist might not appeal to you. So what do you do? You go to Yoga.
Yoga is about harmony. The unity of every aspect of the being resulting in a wholesome and enlightened being. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the key to unity and harmony lie in the practice of the eight limbs of yoga; Yama (ethical disciplines), Niyama (rules of conduct), Asana (postures), Pranayama (restraint or expansion of the breath), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption).
Fortunately, you don’t have to delve deep into these aspects of yoga to get the benefits you seek. To improve your mental health, all you need do is focus on pranayama (proper breathing), Dharana (concentration) and Dhyana (meditation).
It can be quite difficult to get the hang of these on your own. More difficult than mastering poses. You can find a yoga class that focuses on these aspects of yoga and prosper. Some instructors go beyond teaching and offer sessions where you can share your problems with others in a safe space, you may be shy at first but you will find that it is therapeutic and fun.
Do you have a specific problem that you need to tackle?
Try Yoga. So many people have problems that seem insurmountable. You’ve been to the doctors, you’ve googled your symptoms, you’ve used so many drugs or people just tell you that its all in your mind but you are convinced that you have a problem. You are not alone. There’s a yoga class somewhere where that specific problem is being dealt with, you just have to find it.
The most important thing you need when you come to yoga, is an open mind. Drop your insecurities, your doubts, your beliefs at the door and ready yourself for a mind blowing experience because that is what you will get.
One more thing I must emphasise is, there’s a type of yoga for everything. Prenatal yoga, Yoga for menstrual pain, PCOS, Yoga for the disabled, Yoga for the aged. Yoga may not always be the cure you need but it will provide a great deal of help.
Oge is an expert Yogi, full time Lawyer as well as a freelance writer. Check out her Twitter page : @nymph