For twelve years I was a faithful and devoted yoga practitioner. From my first yoga class I was aware that this practice was exceedingly helpful to my well-being. Three, four, or sometimes even five days a week I participated in a class. Mastering poses was a pleasure and I felt very proud that I was doing something so obviously good for me.
Over time the studio I attended changed. They got into hot yoga and the studio temperature was sky high. Hot yoga is good for some people but for many of us it is not. It wasn’t good for me and I moved my practice into my home. I continued to practice several times a week.
Gradually, however, I drifted away from yoga. I began to practice less often and a few weeks ago I realized that I hadn’t practiced yoga for most of the summer. Returning to a regular practice felt difficult to me. I experienced resistance and continually telling myself I “should” do it wasn’t helpful.
It is true that the mind-body can change very quickly and it is true that changes can sneak up on us. This fall I noticed that I had lost a great deal of my flexibility. I felt stiff and didn’t move as quickly or as easily. All of my “should” talk flew out the window and I suddenly desired to return to yoga. I wanted a yoga practice to come back into my life.
Two weeks ago I began practicing in my home and once again I am amazed at how helpful my yoga practice is to my overall wellbeing and how quickly I’m feeling the results. Hopefully, I’ll never “fall off the wagon” again!
I urge you to find a yoga practice that is helpful to you. In our book Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way Sandra and I discuss the benefits of yoga. We give directions for different poses and discuss what type of yoga is beneficial for different constitutional types. If you wish to begin to practice yoga reading Chapter 12: “Yoga: Posing for Life” will be helpful. Following are a few of the ways yoga can benefit you.
Yoga is a key agent of vitality because with one graceful motion after another, it accomplishes the following:
- It replenishes our energy reservoir because it helps us to develop an awareness of energy flow, remove blockages, balance the mind-body and it strengthens our connection to cosmic consciousness.
- Yoga awakens the physician within by activating our innate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing capability
- Yoga promotes the integrative functioning of the mind with the brain, the body, and the breath
- Yoga promotes neuromuscular integration—the ability to use our muscular and skeletal systems to influence the working of our nervous system, and vice versa.
Wishing you perfect happiness and health.