Yoga has taken over the world. Now more than ever individuals are getting on their mats to find a sense of peace in a world that is currently a bit off balance. Yoga studios used to be all the rage, but for many, the cost of going to a studio wasn’t feasible. We have now entered into a whole other realm of the practice due to the current state of the planet. Thousands of free online classes have now been provided and many studios are providing offerings at a discounted price. Meaning, yoga is more accessible than it’s ever been. This is providing an opportunity to get on our mats in the comfort of our pajamas and dive into an ancient practice that has been around for centuries.
What is this thing called Yoga?
Yoga in its truest sense means union. But through the years, the practice has started to come in all forms. Each person will classify the practice in a different way. Typically, western culture categorizes yoga into another exercise regime. It’s an added discipline to your gym class list; a “rest day” workout per say. But yoga goes a whole lot deeper than that. The ancient practice of yoga dates back thousands of years residing in India. In those times, yoga was a practice of sitting cross legged and connecting to something beyond the physical shapes of a pose. It wasn’t until the art of gymnastics was mixed with this thing called yoga that it became a physical practice. Today, yoga can be defined as a practice linking breath and movement. But most importantly to note: Yoga is for everybody and every BODY.
Why do we practice?
So, why do we bother to practice yoga? Type “yoga” in your search bar. Thousands of articles will pop up explaining the benefits. Essentially, it all boils down to finding a sense of calm in a society where sometimes that’s hard to find. Yes, it builds muscle, tones your body, and burns a few calories, but the underlying reward is the effect it has on the mind and as cheesy as it sounds, on the soul. Research shows that a regular yoga practice can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Who doesn’t want a little less stress in their life?
How to start a practice?
Like anything else, starting is the hardest part. The key is to not put as much pressure on yourself to have a “perfect” yoga practice. Practice is the key word here. It’s also important to remember that a yoga practice will look different for everyone. Sitting in meditation is still yoga. Taking five deep breaths in your car is still yoga. Of course, if you’re wanting to start a more physical practice, online yoga classes are now more than ever at your fingertips. The difference between online classes and classes in a studio however, is the accountability to stay with your practice for a certain duration of time. Distractions surround us and being at home makes that even more difficult to stay on task.
Some tips to stay on your mat:
Now it’s time to get on your mat (or carpet, or grass) and feel the juicy effects of the yogi ways.
MOA at Sequoia Wellness Collective, RYT 500hr