Living a healthier life through yoga
Yoga: the way to a healthier life
Living a healthier life through yoga: wondering if it’s possible? By the way, is practicing yoga really a healthy life? The answer to this question can quickly become controversial. Indeed, the practice of yoga is very good for the body as well as for the mind. This is the way to liberation, to a life full of propriety.
But practicing asana is not enough. It is necessary to make a real choice of life, as well in its ideals, in its rhythm of life and in its mode of consumption.
Psychological serenity and self-knowledge
According to Patanjali several pillars (cf. the 8 pillars of Patanjali ) are based more or less directly on psychological serenity and self-knowledge.
The practice of yoga consists in reconnecting with oneself, in cultivating the harmony of one’s body and mind. Yoga is about knowing yourself, being aware of your body, your breathing, etc.
In the society in which we live, we can encounter several stress factors: the tight end of the month, the impression that we have no time, family obligations, personal projects, investments or even traffic jams that will make us late. All of these events can quickly take over the other positive events we may be experiencing and affect our mental health, even putting us at risk for depression over time.
The yoga helps to reduce stress, to focus on breathing or on movements during the practice of asanas for example. This discipline also allows you to refocus on your own well-being and that of others. It will help to regulate emotions, whether they are positive, negative or more or less intense. It’s about taking a step back, bringing a new perspective.
The yoga that we practice on our mat helps us to find in our daily life, a real balance for our health. That’s the difference with gym classes, which if you’re only looking to lose belly fat, lose weight, or gain muscle will be the right physical exercises but won’t hold a candle to the mental health benefits that yoga has.
Balance to the tip of your feet
Yoga is not only the realization of postures. As we discussed in the previous paragraph, according to Patanjali, there are “8 pillars” of yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
The physical activity, the realization of postures, is also called Asana. Asanas (postures) are really only the 3rd pillar of this discipline.
We have just seen that this practice brings stability, psychological serenity and therefore better health. And it goes far beyond that. During a class, we first become aware of our body and our breathing. Then, through the realization of postures, we become aware of the interest of each of our members. This is the case, for example, for the fingers and toes which are used during each practice, and which are present to maintain stability.
To be well in one’s body is to know it, to know how far it can carry us. It’s understanding it, accepting it. It’s about taking care of it and living with it. It’s about finding a balance, from your head to your sneakers.
The desire to go further and further
Progress in practice
Yoga is an addictive discipline. The effects on our mind or body make us want to go further. During the practices, we will try to push our limits because we quickly realize that each movement is there to do us good. Most of the postures have an intermediate level that allows us to learn correctly without hurting ourselves, but also to see our progress. And this panel of progression, is great: a level at several scales in the postures, flexibility, balance, etc.
Practicing yoga is a real life choice, that’s why we quickly realize that this practice so beneficial for our body and our health is not enough. We may feel a need for continuity in this process of liberation: we will tend to take an interest in our diet for example.
We are what we eat. Our body, the energy that comes out of it are the reflection of it. It goes without saying that we will choose to separate ourselves from foods that our body will have difficulty digesting. If we want to go further in each of the practices, it is important to have a lot of energy: if our body already draws all this energy from digestion, the practices will be less good.
It is therefore important to have a healthy lifestyle, sufficient hydration and a healthy diet, to practice in the best conditions.
Yoga and meditation are intimately linked. One could categorize the practice of hatha yoga, a combination of postures and breathing, as a type of meditation.
I am talking about a meditation, guided or not, which will consist of observing one’s emotions, letting them escape without attaching importance to them. We usually start a yoga class with a quiet moment. A moment of re-focusing on oneself, of breathing. The same is true after the course.
Meditation is finally a complement to the practice of yoga because it has its benefits on a session: it allows to focus on the present moment and improves the capacity of concentration.
How many hours, how many quarters of time do you allow yourself every day? Probably too little. Between your 8 hours of work, the time of the car journey, the time to pick up the children at school, to cook, to do the weekly shopping but also to socialize with your loved ones, when do you find time for yourself?
An early morning flow, when everyone else is still in bed, is the perfect time to give yourself time to gently wake up your body and mind. A few minutes, ten, twenty or even thirty, of physical exercise to prepare you to face or rather, to enjoy a new day.
A moment or only you matter. And we are not talking about selfishness here, but about self-centeredness. Because to feel good with yourself is to fill up with energy, it is to send positive waves to your entourage. To feel good as an individual person is to feel good in the company of others as well.
What benefits are you looking for from yoga?