Yoga is an ancient practice that has existed for thousands of years and can be done in many different ways and at many different times. Yoga has transcended across time for many reasons and purposes. The practice of yoga can be done by every body. It also can be done at any time, day or night.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is known as an ancient practice. Everyone can practice to improve themselves either in their postures (asanas) or in their life by meditating (raja) and studying (jnana) to learn about themselves and the universe around them.
The word yoga comes from the word yuj which means to bind, join, attach or unite. What do you bind together in yoga? Your breath, your mind and your body and that can be done in 3 ways: postures (asanas), meditation (raja), and studying (jnana).
The first way someone can improve themselves are through their postures or asanas. Most people in the Western world associate yoga with doing intense postures or asana. Many don’t know that word asana actually means to sit in Sanskrit.
If asana means to sit, why is it used in naming the postures? That is a good question. It was used in naming the postures that you take in a traditional yoga class because in order to sit still, you must also have the ability and capability to move as well.
The asanas are put together in a way usually to be therapeutic and help ease you into sitting for your meditations. These poses also incorporate your breath so that you can go deeper into your asana. Each asana has its purpose and each breath associated with it has its own purpose as well. There is also a dristhi (or eye position) with each asana to help your eyes from wandering which could lead to the mind wandering as well.
There are plenty of resources you can find in order to understand what the benefits of what each asanas effect is on the body. I will also list a good resource later if you want to more information to learn more about yoga as a whole.
The next way that yoga can be for every body is through meditation or raja yoga. Now, I’m not saying you have to sit in a dark room and chant (or use mantras) that does not make any sense to you in order to meditation. Meditation is simply just being one with your mind, your breath and your body.
If you have never done a meditation before, don’t worry. You know how to breathe and sit, right? That’s pretty much all that it takes to meditate.
You’re probably also thinking “That sounds good but I can’t slow down my mind or thoughts to do this”. Good thing about meditation is that you don’t have to stop thinking.
The mind is built for thoughts to flow through constantly. What you need to do is acknowledge the thought, ask yourself “Does this thought serve me or can I let it go?” If it is serving you, then address it after the meditation by resolving the thought with action. If it doesn’t serve you, then simply release it with your next breath.
There is a lot you can learn about yourself through meditation. You can learn what you like or dislike while you’re meditating. You can learn what fills your cup, brings you joy, brings you energy. You can also learn what takes away your energy, your power, your light and find ways to get rid of it.
Meditations do not have to be a long process either. It can be a simple as taking a few deep breaths when you are having a moment that seems to be not serving you or sitting with your thoughts for a few hours. The choice is up to you.
As humans, we are not born all knowing. How do we progress from what stage in life to the next? We study the behaviors around us and adapt to the changes in our bodies and in our minds.
People are inquisitive by nature. We want to know the latest and greatest ways to do things to make things easier and more efficient on ourselves. But sometimes that comes to a costs. We do not need to be all knowing. However, we do need to know who we are though and how we can help serve others around us.
It is important to expand your mind to know that you are part of something greater than yourself. You are not alone. Studying helps you to grow and can be done at any age.
The act of studying can be done in many ways. It can be as simple as reading a book in a topic that interests you such as yoga. It can be going to someone you respect and asking them how they got to where they were in life and any words of advice that they might have for you to be the best version of yourself.
It does not have be a chore to learn more about yourself and the world around you. It can be a gift or blessing that can help you grow to be a more giving and loving human being. You will be thanking yourself later for investing time on yourself and others will thank you for it as well when you give more fully and enjoy your life.
There are many ways that yoga can be practiced There is no limitations of who can practice yoga. It can be done at any age, with every body and at any time.
Namaste and best wishes!
If you want more information or a starting point on your yoga journey, join our membership. We offer different yoga practices through flows (which incorporates asanas), meditations (raja), and a monthly book club call (which goes with the jnana) to help you to learn more about yourself and your beautiful practice.