In my previous post I discussed what yoga is, and if you’ve read it you’ll know it’s pretty difficult to truly put into words! Although of course yoga has certain definitions, history, and ‘aims’ in one’s practice, in everyday life what’s most important is discovering the answer to the question “what does yoga mean to you?”
In order to maintain consistency in anything, it’s a great idea to work out why you are doing it. In any new habit you’re trying to form, knowing and remembering your reasons as to why you started, or the reasons why you love it, can be a really helpful tool in keeping you motivated.
So this week I’m setting you some homework. Grab a pen and paper and think about why it is you love yoga (or if you’ve only just started, why you did so in the first place!). However often you want to get on your mat, remembering how great it will make you feel will help you decide between staying sat on the sofa or sticking on your favourite playlist and getting your flow on!
Here are some questions to consider:
- What are my main reasons for starting my yoga practice?
- What happens in my mind when I practice yoga?
- How does my body feel during and after my practice?
- What changes do I see in my day to day life since I’ve been doing yoga?
Of course, add whatever thoughts you want to your list of what yoga means to you!
For me personally, yoga puts me on a whole other level. It makes me drop out of my mind, and into my body. I feel connected with my entire being; I direct where my energy flows, using my breath to help relax areas of my body that I don’t normally even think about. My brain stops worrying, stops thinking about anything other than the asana. When I’m practicing pranayama, I feel energised and I know I’m doing my body so much good. When I’m meditating, I learn the art of patience and being kind to myself. All of this rings true for the physical asana practice!
Yoga also means connecting with others, and trying to practice the yamas and niyamas daily. It means taking my practice off the mat and into my day to day life. Yoga makes me feel a part of something much bigger. I’ve changed a lot since I started practicing. I’m more patient, more empathetic, and more conscious of how my actions and words effect others. I have a deeper sense of what it means to be human, and what my own purpose is in this world. Yoga to me, is all encompassing love.
So, when my alarm goes off at 6am and it’s time for me to get on my mat, sometimes I just need to think of a few of these things and I’m there in an instant!
I wish you lots of luck on your own yoga journeys. Mine’s only just beginning, and the thought of learning new things every day of my life excites me no end! I’d love to hear in the comments what yoga means to you!