A yogi may have come to the mat with the interest of improving their body. Physically, the stretching and strength training involved has improved their muscle mass and helped them to lose weight. These are certainly admirable goals to achieve both inside and outside the context of yoga.
However, building muscle and losing weight isn’t the true essence of what real yoga is all about.
Here are some tips to help you spice up your yoga sessions and better understand what yoga is really all about in the process.
According to an article at NYtimes.com, there is a very spiritual side to yoga that is often overlooked. Aside from simply being another form of stretching and exercise, yoga invites the practitioner to experience a true spiritual awakening. Within this context of yoga, the practitioner will need to understand that yoga emerges from the Hindu religion as an avenue to spiritual enlightenment and self-transcendence.
One of the goals of dedicated yoga practitioners is to learn to focus and embrace their inner compassion while practicing yoga. As you become more compassionate, this helps with other aspects of what yoga intends to augment about your mind, body and spirit.
Another side of yoga is to learn to be aware of one’s body in hopes of finding true harmony and balance. For many practitioners of yoga, this means slowing down and experiencing themselves in the moment. Focus on your breath. Become aware of your body. As you become more aware of yourself in the present, the yoga techniques become easier to understand and master. For many practitioners, this level of focus creates a heightened state of relaxation as well.
Taking Yoga Outdoors
If you generally practice yoga inside, you might be able to give your yoga practice new life by practicing outdoors instead. Practising outdoors will deepen your connection with your practice and mother nature. Early morning sunrise yoga outside is amazing, but you don’t have to be restricted to yoga during the day. Embrace the use of flexible and durable LED lighting is helpful for enjoying a yoga session outdoors at night. LED lighting from companies like Nocqua that is rechargeable and can be used around water also makes for a pleasant outdoor experience of practicing yoga in a lake or among the ocean waves. The type of outdoor setting is truly up to the practitioner, so be creative.
Because yoga does involve the physicality of asanas it is important to make the effort to go that extra inch or two during your yoga sessions to reach new goals. Sure, you may have been at a plateau for a while with certain poses; however, at some point you must push through and learn to gradually reach the next level of muscle flexibility and tone. This may not be so important to the religious aspects of yoga, but it is certainly a goal for those who do yoga to improve their physical health.
Yoga is an art that will benefit you in numerous ways. Whether your goal is to improve your physical stamina or have a spiritually moving experience, the outcome you get will depend on what you put into your yoga sessions. But, for most individuals, simply mustering up the commitment to stick with the asanas and techniques is rewarding enough.