The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj‘ which means union. This ancient Indian practice gradually leads towards a union of the body, mind and soul. But over the years, the true essence of yoga has been misconstrued and misinterpreted.
Nishtha Bijlani, Yoga Expert and Wellness Counsellor says,
Even though the western world has taken up yoga greatly, there still seems to be a selective approach to it. On the other hand, the East which is the birthplace of yoga, still witnesses a lot of hesitation and lack of knowledge towards it. Some phenomenal yogis of the past centuries strived to make yoga accessible for everyone. But cut to today, we are disconnected from the rich knowledge of the Vedas.
We often hear why we should practice yoga. So, we asked Nishtha to share her expert inputs on why we may still not be ready to truly practice yoga. Scroll down to read her top reasons why you should NOT practice yoga.
Surya Namaskars are not cardio. They should be done slowly and respectfully. Yoga is a holistic, mindful practice. It’s a gradual shift in lifestyle. Discipline and consistency are required before you see a real change in all aspects. If the physical gain is all you want then you may consider other options.
Why is there a fuss about being flexible? It’s the mind that requires flexibility and not the body. The body will eventually become flexible when the mind is ready and the breath combines. Flexibility is a by-product of regular practice. Also, it’s about having the right balance between strength, flexibility and mobility. Only one won’t serve any purpose.
The practice should be slow so we can really feel and be aware. What you may call monotonous is what is called practice or ‘sadhana‘. Repetition is important to create muscle memory, recall and understand.
Starting with a restless or impatient state of mind will do you no good. It’s only with repetition that we create a habit and it’s only when we move slowly can we work with the breath.
Yoga is not just a physical practice. But unfortunately, that is all that is marketed. It is quite self-limiting to only work on the physical aspect. The yogic practice should be complete, not one dimensional. The physical practice was developed only to tame our monkey-mind so that we could prepare ourselves for the stillness required for meditation. The journey of yoga is not from one pose to the next, but in fact from the external space to the internal.
It’s not always about the “doing”. A lot happens in the “non-doing”. To be in a state of conscious relaxation should come naturally, but unfortunately, it is a task for many. Rest and recovery are as important as the movements. Shavasana helps in physical, mental and emotional rejuvenation.
While this is common and may even work positively at times, until you really have the inner need to seek a change in your life, it won’t help! The same lifestyle patterns will keep repeating. Before you take up yoga, understand a little about why you are doing what you’re doing. That will give you a clean slate to start the work and be open to change. Setting the right intention in place will help you move smoothly towards your goals.
What would you like to know about yoga? Please share it with us in the comments below.
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