What is Yoga?
Sanskrit, the ancient Indo-European language of India, defines Yoga as union or connection. More commonly, Yoga is referred to as the connection between the mind, body and soul.
To define Yoga very simply, it is a holistic practice involving breathing techniques, exercise and meditation to improve health and happiness.
What is Yoga for Me?
I commonly read or hear people say that “Yoga found them”; in all honesty, I used to have a hard time keeping myself from raising an eyebrow and thinking it sounded cliché.
I am pretty sure, however, that Yoga does somehow find its way of finding you. In my case, maybe this was it, but I lean toward the belief I was desperately seeking Yoga and just didn’t know it. Why? The reason being...
I’ve always lived in my head with my untamed and lively thoughts. A fascinating world most of the times, full of ideas and dreams worth chasing and catching. But one that could spiral when life pulled the carpet from under my feet and turned me on my head. These were times when, over the years, I would write most in my many journals (Eureka! My understanding of my love for notebooks unveiled!).
Writing things down in a journal, whether gleeful or sad (and covering them in doodles) helped me transfer what was in my head, and thus manifested in my stomach, to a place afar, where I could look at things from a different perspective. A physical detachment from what was agitating my mind and crying havoc on my gut.
Little did I know Journaling and Drawing were my tools for stress management and self-exploration as they became my go-to places in times of extreme need. And then, life got better, until it got worse, as life does with its ups and downs. However, the sporadicity in which I used these outlets, kept me in an awkward state of “calm before the storm" every time.
Consistency felt key as did physical expression that went beyond spontaneous running sprees.
It took my persistence to push through hardship like a bull - I am a Taurus, after all - and the consequent build-up of repeated personal collapse before Yoga and I developed a more meaningful relationship.
Yoga is a valuable life tool. It keeps you connected to YOU! How?
Through simple, natural and healthy techniques:
Yoga teaches you how to become aware and more present of what is happening in your mind and body, as well as in your life.
By being more mindful of my thoughts and their nature, I am less vulnerable to getting carried away by them.
Yoga changes your mind… about YOUR BODY!
Sure, it can help you lose weight and stay lean and strong, but ultimately, Yoga changes the way you approach your body and, above all, what you put in it.
I feel stronger and healthier and therefore get stronger and healthier.
The practice of Yoga improves your relationship with yourself and with others.
When feeling more connected and collected, a weight is lifted and joy sets in. Being connected to a happier me, brings out the calmer, more understanding, loving and creative version of myself.
I still like to get caught up in my imagination and ideas. I’ve just become better at not living in my head and enjoying my surroundings and myself more fully and intentionally.