One of the biggest disappointments about the modern day practice of yoga (particularly in Western countries) is the fact that many times those who engage in its use do so only for the physical benefits of it and often completely ignore the numerous emotional and spiritual advantages it offers.
While there is certainly no argument from us about the many virtues yoga can provide from a physical standpoint such as improved strength, better sleep, increased circulation, and an overall better general health, transcending the physical barriers into the deeper realms of mind and soul will truly open your eyes as to what this ancient practice is really all about.
Yoga in its true form promotes a harmonious balance of the three aspects of our lives; body, mind, and soul. Through the various teachings and philosophies we find ways to bring these different planes of existence together to form one universally centered being. Focusing solely on the physical practices of the art may lead to a number of benefits, but it will cost you many more.
There are several ways that one can unlock the other aspects of yoga into their daily lives, making it more than just a simple part of their daily exercise routine. There are countless opportunities each day for every one of us to use the things we learn in class or from our private instructors that can help to calm our minds and bring peace to our spirits in an increasingly volatile world.
One such place would be at work. Regardless of what you do for a living, whether it be an office job, a manual labor job, or even if you work remotely from your home or a nearby coffee shop, the stress, anxiety, and pressure of the workplace is ever-present.
Taking a few minutes between sales calls or during a scheduled break to practice a few poses, engage in some breathing exercises, or even get in a short meditation session can all help to bring those three branches of the human tree back into balance.
Vacations and trips are another wonderful time to practice making yoga techniques and philosophies part of your everyday life. After all, it’s the stressful and frustrating aspects of your life that you are getting away from, not the positive and beneficial ones. Take the time to go out into nature to an area that you’ve never been before and simply be present in the moment.
Maybe it is an incredible view of a beautiful mountain range. Perhaps it is the serene sounds of a flowing waterfall. It may even be the feel of the wind as it rushes through the trees. These opportunities are rare in our normal daily routines and can be some of the most enjoyable experiences we could hope to have.
Remembering these exact moments when practicing yoga back home can take you right back to that place of calm and peace, helping you to better incorporate each of the three separate yet intertwined components of body, mind, and soul.
Written By: Avery Bullock