Have you ever wondered why do you do Yoga? This is a question often asked whether by someone we have met or even our own thought processes as we ponder why we enjoy the practice of Yoga. Yet trying to articulate an answer can be challenging when we ourselves can’t quite put our finger on the reason. It is almost too simplistic a question and not always easy to answer when the answer can be so very diverse and expansive.
So, why do you do Yoga? You might settle on ‘because it makes me feel good,’ which is a great reason. Other reasons could be for relaxation, strength, stress, health, flexibility, personal time, a quieter mind, freedom, hope, spirituality or friendship… To limit the benefits of Yoga to a list, would I feel be an injustice to the power of transformation that Yoga has to offer.
For me, in the beginning it was the mystery of this ancient tradition and physical flexibility. But now my reasons are many and varied. The mystery still holds true but the flexibility has moved beyond the physical body and to the mind, offering freedom and hope for a different way of viewing the world and myself within it. Through this, Yoga has become my spiritual practice as it connects me to something far greater and grand.
Yoga is the Union between body, mind and spirit and the practice encompass tools to be utilised to attain this Union. So then, does Yoga make you ‘feel good’ because of this union taking place within you? It certainly does! It is because this union creates the ‘inner’ connection that we so often seek through external objects.
Through the work of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras ‘The Eight Limbs of Yoga’ the practice of Yoga is broken down into segments to help guide us on our journey. And as we explore and work through the many layers of Yoga we grow within to become more observant and mindful. It is through mindfulness that we deepen our perceptions. We can then offer these wider perceptions to the world, viewing those around us with more love and compassion.
No matter what the reasons are that bought you to Yoga, the important thing is to remain open to the ever-changing reasons that you stay because that is how you will transform and grow within your Yoga practice. A great way to monitor this is by setting your intension at the beginning of each class. This will allow you to be more open and explore your ever-changing world within and to work where you are at within yourself right now. As we move through many reasons as part of the journey of self-discovery and transformation to improve our own wellbeing. This in turn adds to the greater good, because we can only ever really make changes within our own lives and this will inspire others to do the same.
The next time you settle yourself onto your yoga mat look a little deeper at the underlying reason you practice Yoga and see what comes up. You may be surprised by what is revealed to you. Be mindful and observant as the practice of Yoga has many lessons to reveal. Yoga is the gift that keeps on giving as long as you are ready, open and willing to receive.
So… why I do Yoga, my answer for today is freedom and hope. Freedom from the bondage of my mind and hope for a better world through personal transformation. Ask me tomorrow and I may have a different reason depending on where I am within my journey. Ultimately though, I practice Yoga to restore balance within my life in order to maintain a level of inner peace. After all, the outer world we perceive is merely a reflection of our inner world. Take care of our inner world and life is able to flow more easily.
So I invite you to remain open to the reasons why you practice Yoga, to allow the practice of yoga to reveal the reasons to you.
The next time someone asks you – why do you do yoga? Simply smile and suggest that they come along and find out for themselves.
Namaste Beautiful Souls 🙂