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Why Is Yoga Important?
Yoga is a form of mindfulness. It is meditation in movement. Yoga is super fun too!
When I’m on the mat I slow down and land in my body. I start to become very aware of my body, every physical sensation. After a few minutes in a pose or a flow sequence, I start to become very aware of my body, the emotions and feelings that I may not have held space for a while.
Most importantly this self-awareness is highly relaxing and energising at the same time. Mental chatter slows down or becomes non-existent for that beautiful time on the mat.
Yoga is a practice where I can return home to my soul. A haven, a refuge and a wonderful time for self-reflection.
I was first introduced to yoga by my mother who led a busy life as a doctor and turned to yoga for stress relief and relaxation. I loved having something that was just for us. That sense of connection!
Kids naturally find the yoga poses themselves interesting and fun to try. I always appreciated the sense of self-awareness and body consciousness that comes with a regular yoga practice.
Through my teens and adult life, the length of my daily yoga practice peaked up and down. I noticed that the periods where I left yoga behind for some time were the more challenging times in my life.
Yoga helped me manage life’s ups and downs and reminded me of the importance of a strong connection to myself, my heart, my soul.
Yoga has helped me physically keep strong and flexible to run after 4 kids and maintain a limitless source of energy!
My relationship with my body has improved through yoga. Four pregnancies, the period after each birth and accepting my postnatal mama body has been so much easier, fun and a kinder journey because of yoga. I wrote about how busy mothers can fit in yoga and mindfulness here.
This form of mindfulness and self-love is so important for women and mums especially. In 10 Simple Essentials For Your Meditation Space, I provide simple tips to encourage you.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga means union and I interpret this as a union of my mind, body and soul. I feel connected to my heart and my desires and as a result, I feel connected to everyone else. I feel at peace.
Yoga is just stretching or another form of exercise to many, and a trendy hobby to others.
For me, yoga is a way of life on and off the mat. Through a regular yoga practice, I can bring that self-awareness to my life at any point, my turning towards my breath and getting in tune with my energetic body. Click here are for a few easy tips to help you maintain a regular yoga practice and reduce stress.
The yoga poses,(asana) is the most modern part of the yoga practice. Yoga is, in fact, a practice that originated in India more than 5000 years ago, with the focus then being on meditation, yoga philosophy and other similar disciplines. In my article Yoga Philosophy For Beginners, I explain this more clearly.
65 TERRIBLE REASONS YOU DON’T PRACTICE YOGA YET!
- You’re not spiritual and yoga is just for those zen people
- You don’t want to fart
- You don’t know the lingo: mantra, third eye, OM
- Yoga studios are intimidating
- Yoga is just another trend that you will try and fail at
- You don’t want to ’ overstretch’
- You’re not skinny or super flexible
- You hate incense
- You don’t know all the types of yoga…Hatha? Hot? Partner?
- You’re pregnant and can’t walk downstairs let alone do downward dog
- There are too many yoga mats to choose from
- Sun salutations look terrifying
- You can’t decide which yoga leggings to buy and they are too expensive anyway
- You know you will start laughing if the teacher starts chanting
- Inhale, exhale instructions seem very difficult. You hate breathing
- You’re scared of trying handstands, wheel pose and ’inversions’
- Yoga classes are expensive
- You can’t sit on the floor let alone lotus position
- Everyone else will be ’better at yoga’ than you
- You hate yoga music
- You’re a quiet person. Yogis make lots of random noises in poses
- Yoga sounds nice, but meditation is too extreme
- Yoga sounds fun, but you don’t want to hear about Ganesha or Hanuman
- Yoga is just stretching so you can do that before you go for a run
- You can’t afford all the nice yoga crystal jewellery and mala beads
- Yoga is just for girls
- Yoga leads to other things like green juices and colonic treatments
- You have no time for yoga
- You’re too tired for yoga
- Yoga is not really a sport
- You might cry
- You might laugh
- Yoga is for vegetarians and vegans
- Yoga will lead to other things like a lotus flower tattoo
- You’ll get addicted to yoga
- You’ll start taking your yoga mat with you everywhere
- You’ll start doing yoga in public
- Your kids or husband will start doing yoga and they will be better than you
- Yoga leads to other things like tantric sex
- Yoga will take over your house. Yoga mat, meditation cushion, incense sticks, candles, straps, blocks…
- You don’t know how to speak Sanskrit
- You don’t want to start talking like a zen yogi
- You’ll have to find new friends because you’re a yogi now
- You’re competitive and you will always compare yourself to the other yogis
- You know you don’t like breathwork/pranayama because it’s hard
- Yoga might lead to other things like doing a yoga teacher training in Bali to discover yourself
- Yoga is pointless. Does it burn any calories?
- Yoga will lead to other things like only wearing yoga leggings
- You’ll start saying Namaste
- You might find your yoga teacher a bit too attractive
- You’re too old for yoga
- You know your chakras are unbalanced, but don’t know what that means
- Yoga leads to other things like going to India to meet the original yogis
- Your holidays will become yoga retreats
- Yoga leads to other things like mindfulness. That’s another hard thing to do, isn’t it?
- Yoga leads to other things like an open heart. That sounds terrifying.
- The yoga teacher might speak to you in front of the class
- The yoga teacher might come an ’adjust’ you
- You’ll fall asleep in savasana
- You’ll laugh in savasana
- You’re not sure what savasana is, but it’s the only pose you can say
- You don’t know any of the names of the poses
- You don’t know what an asana is
- Yoga is just boring
- You don’t have time for yoga
How To Get Started
- Decide what type of yoga is best for you. Vinyasa, yin yoga, kundalini yoga….
- Set an intention to try it for 30 days
- Find a teacher
- Find a class near you
- Sign up for online classes
- Get a yoga mat, borrow one or buy one!
- Don’t worry about what you look or sounds like!
- Don’t compare yourself to others, just compare yourself to the former you!
The Last Thing You Need To Know
My biggest tip is to choose, learn and practice a specific 20-minute yoga sequence and master that. You will gain confidence and then you can evaluate how you feel. I offer online 1:1 yoga classes for beginners, please contact me, Niomi: [email protected]
Breath awareness is a priority with the aim being to activate, circulate and sublimate energy and emotion around your body through yoga asana. You can learn more about the secret art of working with energy here.
Yoga, like all new challenges, can be scary and bring up uncomfortable feelings. Be kind to yourself! I promise you, a regular yoga practice will change your life! For more tips about how to start a daily yoga practice please click here.
Good luck yogi! You can do it!
Thanks for reading!
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