The Benefits of Yoga
Contributed by Jennifer Hooton
In the hustle and bustle of everyday modern life, it’s easy to forget that the spiritual side of our life needs nourishing in much the same way as our smart phones need charging and our cars need gas. Yet so many of us carry on, shuffling through our urban streets, without the fuel or charge we really need to feel thrive and fulfilled. Think about your day, today; what did you do? What were your concerns? How much of your time was spent focusing on the here and now, the trivial daily thoughts that cloud our thinking and stop us from reaching higher, which stop us from thinking higher and subsequently being higher.
It’s hard to explain to those who aren’t in touch with their spiritual just how beneficial the engagement with it can be. One thing is for sure, however – it’s only when you breathe deeply and allow yourself to listen clearly to that inner voice that you can truly understand how much bigger you are than daily life; that is a drop in the ocean of all that is you. Let’s discover the rest.
Sync your mind, body, and spirit
We like to think of our bodies in terms of their functions. The mind is for thinking, the body is for athleticism, and the spirit is that core of you that is sometimes prominent but is more often buried deep within. Through yoga, you learn to disturb these conceptions and recognize yourself as a whole, to realize that every atom of your being flows through all of the other parts of your body, too. You are not an amalgamation of useful tools; you are a human being who is capable of a great awakening if you’re ready to be awoken. It may be the greatest journey of your life, one that transcends time and space, if you’re willing to open your mind and take the first step.
Even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong, there are usually one or more things that have an effect on your wellbeing, even if they’re not evident on the surface. It might be the constant flash photography on a television screen, a nagging sense of some imperfection (or the nagging sense that you need to maintain perfection), or simply an uninspiring commute. Whatever it is, it is holding you back from the freedom of the mind that we all need to feel nourished. One of the chief benefits of practicing yoga is that it guides you to discover an inner peace which helps melt away the superficial problems of modern life.
Free Your Body
Don’t shy away from a cliché if it’s true: your body is a temple. Unfortunately, most of us only begin listening to it when something is wrong. Instead, listen to it when it’s feeling its absolute best – you’ll be surprised what you hear. After all, the body wasn’t just designed to toil in the farm (or gym), it was built for pleasure, and for the ones who practice yoga the benefits of that pleasure can be divine. Aside from the many physical benefits of yoga, such as adding strength and flexibility to your body, specific positions have the virtue of enhancing your libido by amplifying the “vibrations” that release your sexual appetitive and energy.
Become one with the Universe
Many people initially begin practicing yoga as a way to socialize or further their career. But the true student knows that these goals can only take you so far, and in fact what becomes clear early on in yoga is that the earthly goals are not goals at all: they are obstacles. Instead, the student of yoga finds their place in a universe where we are all connected; they strive to see and sense things that their eyes and nose could never detect; they search for the deeper meanings of life that will guide them to become a better human being. It is here where the true pursuits begin and the short-term benefits fade into insignificance. It is here where we realize that the atoms that flow through our veins have also traveled across the whole universe. It is here when you recapture the wonder of life and say goodbye to the rest.