Why choose yoga over other forms of fitness training? There is a plethora of options and more arriving on the scene every couple of months to keep us in good shape. We give a tip of the hat to any form of exercise that limbers up the body and keeps a person healthy and strong. So why yoga?
A recent real life example of ‘why’ took place last Tuesday afternoon when Jonah and I called an emergency plumber Burlington Ontario to take a look at the plumbing at the studio. Barry the contractor, a man in his early thirties, came out of the basement stiff and ridged. It occurred to me after watching him move around that he was somewhat unsafe because of his lack of flexibility. While observing him around the house and on the roof and then witnessing his stressed movements coming down the ladder, it appeared to me that he was actually putting himself in danger. His risk of falling because he was not more limber must be increased by big margins. I started a conversation with him.
In Barry’s case it added up to job safety. There are dozens of positions that require good body strength and movability. If you are sedentary or past the 25-year mark most of us need an additional program to stay limber. The same principle applies if you are sitting in a chair all day working at the computer. Ever get up feeling stiff and need a stretch? Or maybe brain burn – you need to personally re-boot? Easy to do with a couple simple asanas that cover a multitude of muscle groups and gets your blood pumping without changing into sneakers and Activewear. Two minutes of yoga can equal another hour of productive work time.
Who doesn’t want to play hard? One of my students came back from a two-week beach vacation looking rested and fit. She admitted to partying the entire two weeks in the water, beach and clubbing at night. She said, “Kerry, I never missed a beat and felt terrific the whole trip. I’m sure it was because I kept my yoga routine the same the entire time.” I would have to agree. If you are someone who loves to relax by being active, yoga is an easy support system.
Yoga lends itself to just about any environment. It’s versatile and travels well. If you must have a mat, it’s easy to pack, but a beach towel, or for that matter just a sandy beach is as good. (smile).
With traditional (Hatha) yoga, one uses every part of the muscular, skeletal and visceral facets of the body. The result of feeling “better” doesn’t happen overnight. Naturally, the body needs a period to adhere and adjust – but because the practice of yoga is a natural unfoldment, the body takes to it like a deer to the woods. With a small amount of dedication, a student will reap its rewards in short time.
So what are the other benefits besides flexibility and stamina? Centeredness and peace flood the devotee with each session. To what extent is determined by the individual, but the potentiality is inherent within the practice itself. Striving for spiritual, as well as physical balance is endemic to Hatha yoga. No matter which yoga system you choose to participate in, the benefits are inherent. We sincerely recommend finding a practice that fits your lifestyle and goals.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and share a story or two. We would love to hear from you.