Most people are of the notion that yoga is for certain types of people. I’ve heard men say that they would’nt like to be seen in a yoga class as it would make their peers not respect their masculinity. Some females have also told me that yoga is not for them as they are not flexible enough. I have also heard people say that yoga is for people who are not strong enough to stand the heat in the
gym. I do not fault people with such opinion at all. The first time I practiced yoga my self I thought it would be all about fairy tales and lollypops, but I was wrong. You’ll never know how demanding and blissful yoga could be until you try it out.
I want you to imagine a scenario where you are required to balance yourself on the crown of your head with your body completely inverted, held upright and supported by your fore arms while paying attention to your inhales and exhales. Can you also imagine yourself holding a pose such as virabhadrasana III (warrior 3) where you challenge your balance by standing on one leg while extending your other leg backwards with both arms extended forward with a piercing focus while your core is on fire. Can you also fathom a sitution where all you need to do is sit down and observe your breath and surroundings while being fully present? If you can imagine these scenarios then you know what I am talking about.
Yoga is a hollistic way of life. It consists of meditation, breath works, strength training, balance and getting the mind dialled in to the present moment. Yoga is medicine, yoga is comforting. Yoga makes you look inwards and re-trace your steps to righting all wrongs within your life.Yoga tames the human mind on how to relate with others on and off the mat and to deal with life situation. Yoga brings us inner and outer calmness. Most of us including myself tend to throw caution to the wind when we are confronted with unfavourable life situations but yoga reminds us to maintain inner and outer calmness and handle situations with calmness.
Personally, I see my yoga practice as a simulation of real life experiences. Consistent yoga practice helps train the mind to be able to move through situations with equanimity and non reactivity. This brings me to the first time I tried practicing crow pose. Crow pose is an arm balancing pose that requires one to plant the hands on the floor, while the shin rests upon the upper arms and the feet are lifted up. This pose was not easy for me to attain as my arms and core muscles were not strong enough to support my weight. I persevered and practiced consistently until I was finally able to take flight. Just as with every situation in life, there are times when we fall and fall pretty hard but we need to constantly dust ourself up and keep trying until we are able to achieve what we are aspiring for.
Yoga teaches us to move through life and life situation as we would move through our yoga practices – with resilience, determination and piercing focus. Just as life has got it’s ups and downs, yoga practices consist of some poses that will make you second guess why you started practicing due to the level of intensity of such practice and there are some practics that will make you feel as though you have just had an awesome thai massage session.
Remember, yoga is accessible to everyone and every age range. Yoga is non-discriminatory and it takes a lot of will power, courage and determination to practice yoga. Yoga can be adjusted to suit different body types and it’s for everyone
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person that you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied” – Aadil Palkhivala.