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Yoga; to me such a widely defined practice. Some use Yoga for stretching and exercise. Some apply it to their weekly workouts and some only do yoga every once in a while. When it comes to the word “yoga” there are few people that automatically think that it is a spiritual thing, but truth is; yoga is what you make it!!
I myself have been practicing yoga for 4 years now, so I want to share what my views are, and also some personal research on all views towards yoga.
When I first started doing yoga I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I knew that it would help me become more flexible, but I didn’t know my journey with yoga would be where it is at now. I started out with yoga videos in the comfort of my own home. I watched a YouTube channel with Adriene Mishler, “Yoga with Adriene,” and I instantly fell in love! Reasons being, I was going through some things in my personal life, moving out of a home into a new one, gaining a new perspective on life and how I decided to live mine. “Yoga with Adriene” was my savior!! Adriene Mishler—she is so humbling, kind, down to earth, one of a kind, truest, one of the most awesome humans ever!
When it comes to just the physical yoga, you focus on certain points of your body, your muscles, and you just focus on the exercise. You got to the hot yoga classes to burn calories, you go to the power yoga classes to sweat out your day. I mean yes it makes you feel good, but deep down, for most it doesn’t hit your soul!
Now when it comes to the mental, abundant, fulfilling, soulful yoga, you are part of a family, a community, a life long journey that you will even hit roadblocks. You will have days where stepping onto your mat is a challenge physically and emotionally.
When you hit these roadblocks, you should still get on your mat because soulful and mindful yoga works from the inside out, at least it does for me! If you get on your mat, for even at least 5-10 minutes it will be worth it. When it comes to yoga you can literally reach so deep down that you will find things within yourself you didn’t know you had.
Now spiritual yoga. Yoga originates back to ancient India, and is one of the 6 orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. When it surfaced, people who practiced yoga had goals for it to be apart of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. When it comes to the time when yoga originated, that is when the chakras became part of the spiritual side. There are seven chakras;
- Root: Located at the base of the spine, it represents the center of your body and mind. It gives positive balance.
- Sensual: Sacral that is located at the center of the lower abdomen. It is the chakra of creativity, pleasure/pain, relationship, and emotions.
- Power—Solar Plexus: between belly button and bottom of your rib cage. It is personal power, self esteem, willfulness and energy. It is also related to your digestive system and metabolism. Creates healthy balance in your life.
- Love: Located at your heart center. Issues trust, love and acceptance. This chakra is the center of compassion and positive balance.
- Communication: located at the throat. This is the chakra for communication, inspiration, expression and faith.
- Perception: Located at the center of your eyebrows at the bridge of your nose. It is the center that controls all higher mental activities including psychic, emotional, and mental intelligence, and insight.
- Universal connection: Located at the crown of your body. (Top of your head.) It is the center of wisdom and consciousness. It’s issues are devotion, inspiration, selflessness, and spiritual understanding. Yes the spiritual side is very complex, and some choose not to even look at that side of it but some of the spiritual side is truly amazing.
Yoga is for anyone and everyone, even if your only a beginner or you are nervous about starting your journey with yoga. It is something that will you will not regret doing. I have been doing yoga for 4 ½ years and I am still learning. I love the physical side, but I also love the mental, soulful, spiritual side. I recently started going off of the beaten path and taking my practice to new areas. I am stepping out of my comfort zone on all levels, and I’m trying new techniques and new perspective of my practice. Some days I just want to get on my mat to get some stretching in, other days I get on my mat to release tension and emotion or whatever the hell I may be feeling that day. Yoga is a journey that is never ending and if you decide to open yourself up to any side or all sides of it, you will be truly grateful.
Until next time,