Yoga is a never-ending practice and journey that has been supporting humans emotionally, spiritually, and physically for thousands of years. Yoga master Ramdev and his Patanjali brand refer to yoga as the attainment of mastery over the dynamic forces of the mind. His belief and his teachings suggest that when the mind is calm and a sense of mastery is present, you gain the right understanding of yourself, others, and the world around you. Today, yoga is used as a stress management tool, a physical practice, and a way to cultivate a sense of self. Each of these paths leads us to a clearer understanding of ourselves and the world around us, just as Patanjali stated they would.
It is easy to be intimidated by yoga. It is typically marketed to well-off, bendy, supple, and thin women. But that is not yoga. That is not mastery of the mind. And that is not a spiritual and emotional practice to gain an understanding of the world. That is a lie. Yoga is for everyone.
You should incorporate yoga into your daily routine so that you may master your mind and unlock your full potential. Do you think you are not flexible enough? Do not worry. To practice yoga is to practice the union of breath and movement in order to activate and marry the mind, body, and spirit. This does not mean doing splits or crazy backbends. This means to bring yourself to the present, listen to your thoughts, and allow your body to communicate with you through various postures or asanas.
When we practice yoga we consciously and purposefully meld our mind, body, and spirit into one. We do so by paying close attention to our breath, our sensations, and our thoughts. This allows us to be wholly present and exist at the moment—allowing us to forget past narratives and pain, allowing us to forget future anxieties and worries. Through asanas, we are able to push our physical and emotional limits and find what we truly need and what we are capable of (a lot more than you would think!) Shapes and postures became a way for our body to speak to us and relieve tension. As you dive into your yoga practice you will become more aware of the poses your body begins to crave in order to find peace and mastery of the mind.
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When we commit to practicing yoga, we commit to taking a step back and assessing our emotions and physical sensations before we act on them, rather than our emotions and physical sensations dictating us. Having a healthy relationship with our emotional and physical needs can help manage mood disorders, attention disorders, physical ailments, and so much more. Plus, stretching, and deep breathing feels GOOD. Yoga is for you.
Three simple poses to get started with:
Forward Fold – Hinge at your hips and reach your fingertips toward the ground. Engage through your core to deepen your fold and draw your chest toward your shins. Hold for 3 minutes at the beginning of the day. To encourage length through your backline and to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system.
Frog Squat – Angle your heels towards one another. And place your toes at a 45-degree angle toward the opposite edges of your mat. Bend through your knees and send your tailbone toward the ground. Draw your palms toward one another and hold them in front of your heart. While you place your elbow tips up against your thighs. Keep your head high and breathe deep. Consciously send energy toward your hip creases as they begin to open.
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Child’s Pose – Draw your big toes to touch behind you and send your knees to opposite edges of the mat. Hinge at your hips and connect your forehead to the mat as you reach your fingers forward and down. Create length along your spine. And rock your head side to side across the mat to offer a massage to your forehead.