this week, i’m passing along my cousin kit’s words of wisdom. i’m hoping if i keep reading it, i’ll start making a point to do yoga once a week. i know i need to, i just have to start!!
here’s what she writes……..
Why do yoga?
The short answer is that yoga makes me feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes me healthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets you tune in, chill out, shape up — all at the same time. And, most important, at 46 years of age, I know when I do yoga just once per week I am less prone to injury. This is important to me as I do other intensive workouts or if I am just raking leaves in the yard.
As John Tunney, Kripalu certified yoga instructor says: For many people, that’s enough of an answer. But here’s more from John if you’re interested.
For starters, yoga is good for what ails you. Specifically, research shows that yoga helps manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases. What’s more, yoga:
Improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
Reduces stress and tension
Boosts self esteem
Improves concentration and creativity
Stimulates the immune system
Creates sense of well being and calm.
And that’s just the surface stuff. In fact, most of the benefits mentioned above are secondary to yoga’s original purpose.
Developed in India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the last 5,000 years or so. The original yogis were reacting, in part, to India’s ancient Vedic religion, which emphasized rituals. The yogis wanted a direct spiritual experience — one on one — not symbolic ritual. So they developed yoga.
Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the classical language of India.
According to the yogis, true happiness, liberation and enlightenment comes from union with the divine consciousness known as Brahman, or with Atman, the transcendent Self. The various yoga practices are a methodology for reaching that goal.
What if you don’t believe in talk about enlightenment, spirit and the rest of it?
That’s okay, too. Yoga doesn’t discriminate. Even if you don’t believe in the spiritual side of life, you can still do yoga. Moreover, the concept of union has a powerful down-to-Earth meaning. Yoga helps us get in touch with our true selves.
Between work, home and all of the demands and stresses in between, it’s easy to lose touch with who we are, that core essence with which we were born. Rushing around all day it sometimes feels like the “I” inside is simply the result of the things we do all day — or the effects those things have on our minds, bodies and spirits. As a result, our identities shift with our moods and conditions.
In truth, however, we are not the conditions we experience or things we do. We are not our jobs or the thousands of tasks that make up our jobs. We are not the sensations or emotions we feel. We are not the car we drive or the house we live in. We are not “S/he Who Must Pay Bills.” We are not Mr. and Ms. Stressed.
Strip away the emotions, sensations and conditions and somewhere deep down inside you are still there. Strip it all away and you find out who you really are.
The techniques developed by the yogis to transcend also help us strip away the things that try to mis-define us — the emotions, sensations, desires, achievements and failures of daily life. Through yoga we learn to develop a greater awareness of our physical and psychological states. As a result, we’re in a position to better manage our reactions to the thoughts, feelings and responses we have to the various situations we deal with every day.
With greater awareness comes the sensitivity and skill to find and remove the physical and psychological blocks that often keep us from our true selves. We no longer identify with our conditions. Instead of saying, “I am stressed,” we begin to say, “I feel stress,” or “stress is present.” It’s a subtle but powerful difference.
Or better yet, we say “I feel anxiety and fear, and that’s causing stress and in particular it’s causing tension in my neck and shoulder.” So we breathe deeply to soothe the anxiety. We review the events that led to the onset of those feelings, and in the process they lose their grip on our nervous system. We intentionally relax our shoulder and neck to prevent the stress and tension from building into a permanent condition.
Yoga gives us control of ourselves. It helps cut through the layers of mis-identities that arise in response to our actions, experiences and feelings. It calms the frenzy, clears the clutter and allows us to get back in touch with ourselves.
Whether you pursue yoga as a spiritual path or for its psycho-physiological benefits, yoga is a methodology for developing a deeper experience of your self and the world.
And it makes you feel really good. And who doesn’t want that?
here’s hoping we all listen to cousin kit, and start getting some yoga in our lives!!
here’s what i did last week, and my plan for this week……..
WEEK OF OCTOBER 10, 2011
MONDAY: ran 4.5 miles (6:15am) DONE
TUESDAY: P90X Plus Upper Plus (10am) WENT ON 6 MILE HIKE WITH ANDY TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY INSTEAD
WEDNESDAY: run 10 miles with heather (10am) DONE
THURSDAY: P90X one on one Fountain of Youth yoga (10am) DID NOT DO
FRIDAY: run 4-5 hilly miles (6:15am) DONE
SATURDAY: rest day DONE
SUNDAY: Newport half marathon (7:30am) DONE…..GREAT RACE!!! INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL. SEE PICS AT: http://melroll.posterous.com/newport-half-marathonoct16-2011
WEEK OF OCTOBER 17, 2011
MONDAY: rest day DONE
TUESDAY: run 4.5 miles with friends (6:15) DONE
WEDNESDAY: P90X plus upper plus (10am)
THURSDAY: run 9 miles with heather (6:15am)
FRIDAY: run 4.5 miles with friends (6:15am)
SATURDAY: rest day
SUNDAY: newburyport half marathon with jenn, cindy, chris and heather (10am)
BLOG POST BY MEL ROLLERI. INDEPENDENT BEACHBODY COACH.