What is Yoga, who is it created for and what are the short and long term benefits?
Yoga is a 5000 year old system that was created, according to an Indian philosopher named Patanjali, to cease thought. Why? When thought ceases the Self (Spirit) stands in its true nature; otherwise the observer identifies with the turnings of thought. If you were to stop right now and identify the thoughts going through your mind what would they be about? We are constantly bombarded with information it is easy to see why the mind is so full of thoughts.
Experiencing Yoga ensures you various tools to learn and practice to cease thought using Poses, Breathing Techiniques, Concentration, Meditation, Visualization, Guided Relaxation, Mudras, Bhandas, Chanting, and much more (depending on the teacher and the style of Yoga). Yoga is taught in groups and also one to one. Group classes give you the experience of practicing Yoga that is designed to reach many people at one time. One to one sessions (as Yoga was designed to be taught) give you customized Yoga practices and principles that fit you and your lifestyle that guide you on a specific path. You can do both; enhance the quality of your life by using specific practices and principles designed for you and then take those tools and be safer and more confident in group classes.
Who is Yoga created for? Anyone who wants to cease thought! Yoga is beneficial in the short term and especially the long term, for any age, gender or fitness level wanting to learn how to identify and become accountable to what is happening in the mind and how that transcends into your daily life. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give your Self; mastery over the mind rather than servant to the mind.
Yoga is the most practical and effective way that I have found to enjoy peace of mind (by ceasing the thoughts), listen to my Self (Spirit) and receive the benefits of being physically strong, limber, calm and relaxed; yet awake. It is the feeling of going through life consciously rather than unconsciously (living rather than just surviving). With this practice I have been able to take a good look at what is working in my life, what is not, and make lifestyle changes that enhance my quality of life.
Most of the people I teach are baby boomer women (as am I)! Some of the short term benefits I have observed are lower blood pressure, relief of anxiety, alleviating depressive thoughts, waking up in the morning without pain or tension, and better sleep. Long term benefits include a balance of strength in all muscles, building bone mass, deeper sleep, clarity of mind when making decisions, resistance to colds, tools to use in daily life when anxious, depressed or angry and a more positive outlook on life.
Baby boomer women have had such different opportunities than their sister's generations before. We have more formal education and have entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers and we are huge in numbers! Can you imagine the individual and social long term benefits of choosing a Yoga practice to enhance the quality of your life and thus enhancing the quality of others lives and so on and so on?
How do you choose to live your life?
Elizabeth is a 500hr Yoga Instructor specializing in Yoga Therapy, Meditation, Reiki and Hypnosis. Find Elizabeth at the Active Life Centre in St. Albert 780-460-9679 www.achieveresults.ca