These days, it seems everywhere you turn, someone is getting on the “bash yoga” wagon. I’ve been practicing for ~ 15 years and I LOVE it. I’m totally, completely and hopelessly in love with a yogic approach to life. And yes, I said, “approach to life.” It is way more than just a physical practice; it is a way to live; a lifestyle to aspire to.
So, with all of this talk of what yoga does and doesn’t do, I’m going to weigh in on why I intend to practice as long as I’m breathing. No scientific studies, no pompous pundits – this is based solely on my own experience.
There are 3 primary reasons why I practice yoga:
- The way it makes me feel
- The community
- The lifestyle
How does make me yoga feel?
As you may recall from my previous post, I’ve never been an athlete. But yoga allows me to develop flexibility and strength simultaneously. I’m not as physically “cut” as I was when I was bodybuilding, but I’m much more balanced, supple and streamlined. More importantly, yoga keeps my mind in shape, able to handle this crazy, busy life we all lead, smiling (mostly) all the way. It keeps me sane and grounded in what is truly important.
What is it about yogis?
While you may think that yogis are a bunch of peace-loving, chant-singing, air heads, we’re not. In fact, we are all shapes, sizes, ages and sexes with diverse political and religious persuasions. But when we get on our mats, we are all just yogis. Nothing else. Our shared experiences on the mat transcend any of the usual differences, as we help one another dive deeper into life-affirming practices. We may not always agree on everything, but we agree on what it takes to live a full, authentic life.
Yoga is a lifestyle?
Yoga is a lifestyle, encouraging practitioners to be mindful in their lives. This means better decisions regarding everything from what we eat to who we share meals with. While we’re not all Stepford yogis, in my experience, yogis are happy and thoughtful with a healthy zest for life. And when we fall off the serenity wagon, our practice helps us recalibrate. The mindfulness and wellness that comes with a regular practice is priceless.