Yoga is like learning how to drive your body. Yes, I stole this from Dharma from the show “Dharma and Greg”. It is still true. We take our bodies for granted, but they require skill to learn how to use. Consider that your body is a biosuit for your soul. Look at a professional dancer or martial artist. They can do things normal people can’t. It is because of training. Yoga is training for the average person to be able to do amazing things.
Yoga unkinks your body and your mind. Sure, you are stretching your muscles and tendons. But somehow your brain gets stretched too. Things seem to flow better. Stresses are easier to deal with.
Yoga is like acupuncture for your whole body. It makes the energy flow.
Yoga is like getting a full-body massage, but nobody has to touch you and you don’t have to get naked.
Doing yoga daily is like taking a multivitamin for your soul. I enjoy it when we set an intention at the beginning of practice. It is where you make a prayer, or a goal. What do you want to focus on, mentally, physically, or spiritually? What area in you or in the world needs love and light and growth? That is where you place your intention. That way, the entire practice is a prayer.
Yoga teaches you acceptance. This is acceptance not only of where you are, but who you are. It is about learning to work with what is, instead of what you’d like it to be. It is important not to compare how you are doing with other people in the room. The practice is your practice, not theirs. They are different, and that is OK. There will be things that they can do easily, and that are hard for you. There will be things that you can do easily, and is hard for them. There will be things that were easy for you last week, but are hard today. Every day is different, just like every person is different.
It is yoga practice, not yoga perfect.
Yoga teaches balance in body and mind. Sure, you may learn finally how to do Warrior three, or Eagle without having to stand next to something to grab onto for support. But there is something subtle about yoga that it teaches balance to your mind too. It realigns things. I don’t know how it works, but that is OK. I don’t know how electricity works, but I still take advantage of it.
The hardest thing about yoga is showing up. You say you want to, but you’ve just never made it to a class. Or you’ve gone for years and it has gotten boring and you think that you’ll take some time off. A week becomes a month becomes a year.
Yoga teaches discipline, but not a rigid sort. It isn’t “do this, this way”. There is a lot of flexibility. You certainly don’t make up all the poses – you are learning things that have been done this way for thousands of years. But, you are submitting to this practice, this path. Somehow you find yourself there, and you’ve learned a lot by aligning yourself with it.
Yoga strengthens and tones. There will be muscles you’ve never seen before. It is amazing and beautiful and inspiring to see these muscles develop. Forearms? Abs? Gotcha. They will look stunning. So will everything else.
It is weightlifting, but the only weight is you. No equipment to misplace, and completely portable.