Connect mind and body, and the positive transformations are limitless.
A yoga practice creates healthy relationships within our physical body and also with the outside world. The practice creeps off the mat into our conversations, our actions, our decisions, our relationships. Yoga will remind you of who to be, how to act, and what you inspire.
On the mat, you learn to move. We lengthen muscles and strengthen joints and get comfortable with our bodies. We flex and fold, hold and breathe. And by consciously placing the body in these different poses, we are able to develop proprioception. Next we begin to feel the poses. When the body is alignment, engaging different energy centers, we are able to experience emotions and sensations as we begin to tune into a subtle (energetic) body awareness. The practice establishes a strong mind-body connection, which ultimately allows us to think with more ease and awareness—be it on, or off, the mat.
Off the mat is big, beautiful world. For most of us, yoga starts with the poses—the asanas. Yet yoga is so much more, a practice so powerful, yet so subtle, that it’s often hard to articulate how we learn about life from a rubber rectangle. But we do. When we move our body around in space, to the tune of a yoga practice, we learn things. We learn awareness. We learn patience. We learn motivation. We learn kindness and respect—yes to others, but also to ourselves and our joints and bones and muscles. We learn freedom and love. We learn acceptance. We learn willpower—which comes in the forms of do more and also do less.
"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."
- B.K.S Inyengar
I believe that yoga finds us in different ways. Yoga teachers — like myself — often ask: What brought you to the mat? Stress brought me to the mat. Wanting to touch his toes brought that guy to his mat. Back pain brought my mom to the mat. A broken heart brought one student to her mat. Curiosity brought my best friend to hers. The list is endless… depression, weight management, escape, challenge, ambition, community. What gets you there is hardly my concern. What happens when you get there is.