Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yoga, how I love thee ♥

Yoga is totally amazing. I have become a devoted fan. From what I understand, yoga was developed in India many years ago in order to prepare people for meditation and aid them in achieving deeper meditation. That sounds totally perfect and about right to me.

The first few times I did yoga, I was more focused on how to do the positions properly and spent the time in class struggling to learn and train my body in the practice. However, now that I am more versed in yoga and my body is more accustomed to it, my experience with it has changed. The whole process now feels much more in the moment and organic, with benefits that are increasing as I continue to practice. During my practice I am present, with my body, breathing in and out, feeling the stretching and strengthening of my body moment to moment. I can feel the release, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well, with each breath as I move. By the end of the practice my body is wholly tired, but a peaceful, strong tired. As I lay there, it feels like my mind is functioning at a deeper level effortlessly. Meditation feels like the proper next action. Calmness overcomes me.

If you are more concerned, or equally concerned, with whether or not yoga will be a sufficient workout, rest assured that it is. Of course, it depends on the type of yoga class you take and the teacher that you get, but generally yoga is a great workout. Many methods of exercise offer cardio/aerobic or strength training/weight lifting benefits. What is often missing in people's workout routines is serious flexibility training. Yoga offers flexibility and general strength training, muscle toning, improved balance, core strength development, as well as emotional and mental benefits (stress release and development of a focused mind) - all in one session. Also, if you get the right teacher, you will sweat your butt off! So, as I said, yoga is totally amazing.

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