Yoga is a sacred way of life that has been practiced in India for thousands of years.
It is not only a physical practice, but has much more depth to it than many realize. The true meaning of yoga is the union of the mind, body, and spirit, all while promoting a better way of life. In a sense yoga is a form of living life as a prayer and the devotion of oneself to a greater good.
B.K.S Iyengar, considered to be one of the best yoga teachers in the world once said,“ Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.”
Taking a yoga class often leaves you with an unimaginable feeling of freedom and clarity, something that many of us strive to achieve daily. Allowing someone else to guide you through an hour of movement synchronized through breath is quite peaceful, it’s a challenge to maintain this feeling outside of class.
Life get’s busy and it may not always be easy to make it to a yoga class, or carve out an hour in the day to practice, but there are simple ways to maintain the teachings of our yoga practice off of the mat.
Here are 5 ways to help you live your yoga:
1. Set an Intention:
Every morning you wake up make it a habit to set an intention. Bring your palms together in front of the heart, bow your head, and dedicate your day to something you want to get accomplished.
An intention can be compared to a goal, but it is more powerful, this is something you aim to achieve, or intend on manifesting in your life. Setting an intention is getting clear on what it is that you want, it could be a prayer, or even a mantra as simple as “I am”. A mantra is a reword or phrase that can be continuously repeated, or thought of to maintain concentration, and sight of our deepest desires, and goals in life.
The breath is the most vital aspect of yoga and especially our lives.
Be aware of your breathe and notice the quality of it, along with how the body is feeling. Stress is often the result of holding the breath or not breathing enough, which doesn’t allow the body to have enough oxygen and energy. A fast paced breathe results in a fast heart rate and rapid thoughts, promoting strain, stress, and a state of anxiousness to flood the body.In Sanskrit the ancient language of yoga, prana is known as life-force or life energy. The deeper we breathe the more energy flows throughout the body.
Practice coming back to a slow, deep nourishing breath whenever it crosses your mind.
Meditate for a few minutes every day by finding a comfortable seat whether it is laying down or sitting cross legged. It is also helpful to listen to soothing music. Close your eyes and bring awareness to the flow of breath. Be observant of any thoughts chattering in the mind, but do not judge them just be aware that they are there.
Start by breathing in through the nose, gradually begin to deepen the breath, pause, then exhale completely, repeat this for as long as feels comfortable. You can start meditating for three to five minutes daily and add on a minute each week. With practice and patience you will be able to meditate for longer periods of time, feeling more relaxed and calm during stressful situations.
4. Just Be:
Be in the moment. Whenever you can just be, be aware and feel everything that surrounds you. Make time in the middle of your busy day to stop what you’re doing and be present. If you’re walking to your car, give yourself this time to completely be in the moment, notice your surroundings, the temperature, the air flowing through your lungs, and smell. Give yourself the space to notice everything as it is, especially yourself without judgment.
When you allow things to be as they are, everything falls into place.
There are something’s that are completely out of our control and sometimes we must let them go. If something is not serving you, let it go, it’s that simple. Don’t hold onto extra weight, cut it loose and LET IT GO. For many people this isn’t as easy as it seems, but it’s worth it. It’s up to you to decide what deserves space in your heart, and what doesn’t. Usually if something continuously doesn’t feel right, this is a sign to let go.
Montclair State | New Jersey