Ancient Wisdom for Modern Problems –
Yoga is Essential
What if I told you there was something you could do in as little minutes a day that would help you deal with uncertainty, stress, and how you respond to other people?
What if this same thing helped with anti-aging, weight gain, pain, sleep, mental health, and built your immunity? What if I told you there was scientific research to back this? It gets better. What if I told you almost everyone can find a customization for their own ability and body, their schedule and circumstances, and it can be customized for any budget.
In a time where the word “uncertainty” is part of our daily vocabulary, Yoga, an ancient practice, once again withstands the test of time. Researchers and historians trace the development of yoga back 5,000 years. Some take yoga origins even further back to 10,000 years. The term Yoga originally encompassed wisdom from a multitude of ancient Vedic scriptures.
Sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE the Indian sage Patanjali synthesized and organized the much older knowledge into the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras or “The Eight Limbs of Yoga” became one of the foundational texts of yoga philosophy. This philosophy involves more then just physical poses and over a thousand years later, individuals throughout the planet still are conscious of the Yoga Sutras as an outline for how to live our lives. These sutras or the “8 Limbs of Yoga” translate into something like:
I think the reason everyone doesn’t practice as least some form of yoga is a lack of knowledge. Either they don’t know how to start or they have a misconception about what yoga is. Is it a cult or a club that they might not fit into? Is it too hot and difficult or too slow and boring? Is it just a bunch of poses only for lithe, young, flexible bodies? None of this is true. Additionally, due to the recent changes to our daily routines, yoga has adapted to even more “flexibility and accessibility” for just about everyone.
1. Find a studio to guide your journey. Call the studio manager to discuss the different classes that are being offered and discuss your wants and needs if you don’t understand their offerings online.
2. How are those classes being offered:
LIVE CLASSES – in studio or outdoor. Some studios offer both indoors with safety precautions (limited class sizes, social distancing, masks upon entry and exit, attention to air circulation) and outdoor classes.
ZOOM CLASSES – once you get through the first couple of times figuring out how to set up your space, your browser, audio, and video on your computer, this is as easy as clicking on a link. Be patient in the beginning. Once you have it all figured out, this option is amazing. The privacy of your home, no driving, and the benefit of usually small classes. Your instructor can see you and give you individual instruction and customizations. For those just starting their practice there is no worrying about the awkward stage of first figuring out what is being done, how you look, or concern about “not doing it right.” You can truly enjoy “yoga-practice-not-yoga-perfect” just for you.
ON-DEMAND CLASSES – Once you have figured out your space, your wifi, and your computer you can click on a link to try any pre-recorded class any time at your own convenience.
“HOMEWORK” CLASSES – Many people do not realize that as soon as you have any basic grasp of any of the postures, you can grab a mat, and literally go anywhere to practice. I like to put in headphones, play an upbeat yoga mix, and practice any of the sequences I remember, in the order I remember, at my own speed, and work on those postures. On the days I just can’t make a full class, or I want to watch the sunset outside, or I just want to try postures I did in a class on my own… I fill my schedule by doing an independent practice.
3. What do you need? Comfortable or supportive clothes? Water? A mat or towel? A hat or sunscreen if you are outside? Again, your studio can help prepare you. Your instructor may additionally suggest “props”; items to help your individual body work into a pose.
Start today. This is no different then when you first started working out whether you were in childhood, teens, college or adulthood, you start with just one step. Start with a plan, even if you need to revise it. Do you need to start with just one class a week or do you customize a few different type of classes above to try live classes and at home? Do you need to put it on your calendar and set an alarm? Do you need to let family or friends know to reinforce your plan? Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself. Now more then every life is unpredictable and plans change. Tomorrow is another day!