SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT YOGA HAS BENEFICIAL IMPACTS ON OUR BODY AND OUR MIND.
It has been linked to a decrease in overall stiffness, headaches, muscle tension, ulcers, and insomnia. Additionally, studies on meditation have shown that it boosts immunological function and lowers blood pressure, reduced anxiety, fosters emotional stability, improves mood, creates more intentional behavior, and fosters creativity, happiness, intuition, clarity, and peace of mind.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, are considered the foundational text of the yoga philosophy.
In Sutra 1.2 Patanjali defines Yoga in the Sanskrit phrase “Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha”, which is frequently translated as, yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of our mind. It is crucial to understand this definition of yoga as it suggests that yoga is not what you do but how you are doing it.
While you are performing yoga asana or postures, the practice allows you to become so focused on the action that you can remain in the present moment, fully aware of what you are doing at that point in time. It is the concentration you are placing on the postures and the breath which allow the practice to ease all your mental conversation. Our limited vision and definition of yoga would argue that the purpose of the poses or yoga asana is merely to helps you stretch and strengthen your body, however even then, the goal is to be string and limber so that you can remain still during long meditation sits, because meditation is the true practice of yoga (whether we understand that or not).
Regardless of why you practice yoga, everyone can agree that the ultimate gift of yoga comes from learning to notice, control, calm, and rest our mind chatter, so we can be present and in the moment.
Yoga is accessible to anyone anywhere, and so you can easily incorporate in one form or another into your daily life.
Incorporating a physical practice could be done through a YouTube video, app, or yoga studio. Incorporating mediation can be as easy and finding an activity you can lose yourself in (swimming, running, hiking, coloring…) and noticing the patterns of the thoughts that arise while attempting to focus on nature and the rhythm of your breath.
The important thing to understand about the practice is that the goal is merely is to connect with who you are and how you feel and therefore even just doing a practice on your mat will have a great effect on how life manifests off of your mat.