Wednesday, March 10, 2010

what are the benefits of your yoga practice?

Last night as I was leaving the studio Beth was beginning her class. She had the students go around the room, introduce themselves and say why they came to yoga.

There were a variety of answers....
"To stretch"
"To learn about the philosophy."
"Because of my boyfriend (sitting next to her)."
"I've had a terrible day."
"For stress relief."
and so on.

Which of course got me to thinking. In looking at each of these reasons for doing yoga, and hearing from tons of other people about why they practice yoga....

Is there an underlying reason to each of these? Most often yes.
Do people want to spill it in front of a class? Probably not.
Do I blame them? Um, no.

But it's something that each of us practicing yoga can certainly investigate. If you are coming to yoga "to stretch", is it because your body is achy from being tight, it it because it makes you a better athlete, it is because it makes your body feel better and that makes you feel better in general?

If you are doing yoga for stress relief, what are the stressors in your life? And how does the practice help deal with these stressors? Are you less anxious, are you a more patient mom, are you better able to deal with your boss, do you get less upset when stuck in traffic or in line at a grocery store?

We can take any of our reasons for practicing yoga, begin to peel back the layers, and see what we discover.

When we can really begin to identify the benefits of our practice (and not just what we read or hear from others) it becomes more real.
Even more valuable.
Dare I say, life changing?
Yep I will.

When you can identify the real benefits of your practice you are more inclined to stick with it. And if you aren't getting any real benefit from the practice then give something else a go. Work with your body, your mind, your emotions in a different way.

Cause ultimately life is way too short to waste on people, places, and things that don't bring us inner joy.

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