Friday, November 25, 2011

Yoga for my life

Many years ago, I was asked by one of my yoga teachers, “Have you cried while doing yoga?”At that time, I didn’t really take this question personal, although I really enjoyed moving my body into various positions and relaxing my mind through abdominal respiration.

A few days ago, I fully realized what that meant. I went to the yoga school early in the morning. Since my body felt stiff and cramped up due to sitting at a computer for a while, I impulsively searched for a yoga place in the neighborhood out of frustration and joined the class without much expectation.

It was my first yoga class since I came to New Jersey. Actually, I wanted to try different things, which I had never done before, so I have enjoyed trying many different classes such as zumba, body sculpt, belly dancing, and kickboxing in the gym. However, none of them gave me a genuine relaxation and emotional enforcement.

While only focusing on my body and mind in doing yoga, I felt totally free from all the distractions. I almost cried because I was suddenly reminded of the question, “Have you cried while doing yoga?” 

Through the experience of yoga for almost 5 years, I have realized that healthy mind, happy mind and holy mind can be established while taking a deep breath and stretching my body. Besides, while doing yoga, I do not have to compete with others because I am different from others and I know well that each of us is special. Thus, I do not have to set my goals by what other people believe are important in yoga. Only I know what is best for me. My style of yoga adapts to an individual’s needs- no matter who I am because it is yoga for everybody.

So I can be confident enjoying yoga even though I am not good at every motions. Also, I am relieved that I do not have to be very flexible or strong to enjoy yoga. You do not have to “put yourself in “pretzel” poses to enjoy increased energy, vitality, strength and flexibility” (“Yoga for your life”, Margaret D. Pierce & Martin G. Pierce).

Actually I was surprised that the approach of yoga was the opposite from the other exercises.  These phrases, such as “Push a little harder!”, “Come on, just one more!”, and “You can do it!” are familiar to most sports. As far as I know, they force us to reach our limitation. But, it is different in Yoga. These phrases, such as “Pain rarely brings gain.” and “Avoid competing with others!” are the concept of yoga.

What is more, I get side effects during yoga like being able to look at my true nature. I could ask more fundamental questions of myself while doing yoga such as, “Who am I?”, “What am I doing?” and “Why am I doing it?”  Meditation already begins when I decide to take a break from my daily activities and turn my attention inward. I bet yoga is the best way of relaxing my body, my mind, and my spirit.

I know all of you must be so busy with your studies since the final is just around the corner. However, I want you to make some time for relaxing. Yoga can be highly recommended for getting rid of all the confusions and distractions. Eventually, you can concentrate on your studies more. Why don’t you sign up for a yoga class?

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