Yoga for Beginners (Part 2)
Okay, you have been living under a rock the past 30 years and finally you decide to climb out. Once out, you realize you are so stiff and completely atrophied. The current fitness trend seems to be yoga so why not give it a try?
One thing I hear all the time is “I’m too tight (stiff) to practice yoga.” That’s like saying “I’m too obese to go on a diet.” If you are really tight, stiff or tense you are a prime candidate for physical yoga or yogasana. Really, yoga practice can be modified for anyone and as our understanding grows in the field of yoga we realize yoga not only “can” be modified to fit anyone, but yoga should be modified to fit everyone. Yoga should conform to fit each individual not vice versa. In other words, there are seven billion ways to practice yoga. This means wherever you are at is the perfect place to begin.
Yoga can be applied to exercise the same as it can be applied to any endeavor, yet yoga is not exercise. Yoga is a mentality, it’s an understanding and a desire for understanding and a cultivation of understanding. You don’t have to practice yoga to have a yoga mentality but you do have to practice yoga to cultivate it.
Many people new to yoga take to it so immediately, resonate with it so completely, because they already have the mentality and finding the practice becomes an outlet to express or embrace that mentality. In other words, many people realize the harmful or helpful nature of their own thoughts. Many people realize the interconnectedness of all things. Many people realize there is more to things than meets the eye. Many of you are already yogis! So, believe it or not, if you come to a yoga class for the first time it may feel like you’ve come home or simply feel like it’s actually not that strange.
In the West it seems physical yoga is the primary practice. This means bringing a yoga mentality into exercise. The movements or asanas are simply creative ways to access places in our bodies and ranges of motion. The reason for this is because you cannot take care of something you do not touch. If you don’t take care of it, it won’t stay well. Yet, touching it is not enough because the touch can actually be harmful if it is lacking sensitivity or gentleness. The reason being is the universal law that states the “harder you are on anything the faster you destroy it”. That’s why the touch needs to be gentle.
When you do anything with gentleness or its precursor, awareness, your mind becomes quiet. It really needs to be quiet in order to discover that moderate or gentle degree, or to heighten sensitivity. This heightened state of sensitivity allows an exercise to become healing because you are now more able to optimally honor what you are feeling. In that quietness you start to hear stuff (sensitivity) you never heard before because you were never quiet enough to hear it. What you hear or discover within that silence fills you with understanding. It’s like you can now see more clearly. They used to call yogis “Seers”. Seeing clearly allows you to steer yourself more optimally towards wellness and before you know it you will have brushed off the stiffness and atrophy of living for 30 years under a rock and you will feel amazing!
If interested, check out my "Part 1" on yoga for beginners!
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