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Why Modern Life Needs Yoga

We need to tend to feel we have a purpose, are content, and thriving. 

POSTEDBYCONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Modern life can be fast, busy, filled with pressure, and a carousel of things that need to be done. There are some things that you simply cannot drop. Work, parenting, learning that you have committed to, paying bills, cleaning your surroundings… it is endless. 

There are seven pillars of wellness that we need to tend to feel we have a purpose, are content, and thriving. 

- Intellectual

- Social

- Spiritual

- Occupational

- Physical

- Emotional

- Environmental

What do you need to start yoga?

Yoga is one of the most beginner-friendly types of activities. The first thing to do is to purchase a high-quality yoga mat. The next thing you’ll need to do is make sure that you have got plenty of comfortable and stretchy clothing. And after that, it’s simply a case of finding some local classes or some online YouTube tutorials. Here are some popular YouTube yoga channels to get you started:

- Yoga with Tim

- Body Positive Yoga

- Yoga with Adriene

- Cosic Yoga (great for kids)

- Shilpa’s Yoga

- Yoga by Candace

Where does yoga come into wellness? 

Yoga doesn’t just focus on the physical, although it is great for that. Yoga focuses on multiple areas and meets much of what we need in the pillars of wellness. 

Physical

Yoga is the physical movement of the body. So it meets some of the needs of your body in terms of physical movement. You can start slowly and then branch out to things like hot yoga, HIIT yoga, or stay with calm yoga sessions. 

For those who have issues with mobility, or injuries, yoga can help to rehabilitate those functions. Although yoga can be slow and relaxing, it can make a huge impact on your muscle strength, tone, and core. Yoga can be one of the leading ways to reduce back pain too. 

Check out this beginners tutorial for yoga newbies:

Yoga is known to help many different physical issues, including:

- Reducing the recovery time for body injuries

- Increasing mobility for stiff joints

- Healing and strengthening back muscles

- Increasing daily movement and general fitness

- Increasing blood circulation

- Improving back posture

Yoga can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, so it is ideal for complete beginners. 

Mental

Like many spiritual practices, this isn’t just about your physical wellbeing. Another pillar that yoga supports is intellectual and emotional. Both of which feed into our mental state.

Studies have shown that people who take part in yoga regularly have reduced levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. Yoga by nature is very relaxing, which can help many of the symptoms of stress. Not only that but exercise, even gentle exercise, gives us endorphins. Endorphins, coupled with the serotonin that we get from relaxation yoga, provides the ideal cocktail to help combat depression. 

It should be noted that yoga is not a cure for depression, but it can help to raise the levels of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the things that people with depression often have low levels of.

Yoga also has a heavy focus on breathing, becoming fluid and calm. Every single yoga pose is designed to increase your flexibility, but through each pose, you will take carefully practiced breaths.

In fact, there are actually full yoga sessions solely focused on breathing. And when you learn how to send to yourself through breathing, you can get a handle on anxiety attacks.

Simply breathing in the way that you will learn through yoga can give you a few moments to collect yourself. This can help you feel like you have more control of a situation and keep you calm.

When you prioritize relaxing poses and breathing, you can also lower your heart rate. And if you have ever had an anxiety attack, you know that a racing heart is part of the problem.

So yoga has very many mental benefits.

"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self." -- The Bhagavad Gita

Social

People who do yoga tend to call themselves yogis. And you will find a huge online community of yogis. Sharing tips on where to get the best yoga clothing, new poses, and challenges. When you are allowed to attend classes, this can give you even more social support. Knowing that the people around you are at different levels of the yoga journey and life can be very comforting. 

Not only that, but most people who are doing yoga do it for relaxation, and how great it makes them feel. And while you might not be having a conversation throughout the class, there are possibilities to meet before and after.

It’s going to yoga class. It doesn't feel like something you want to do; there are plenty of opportunities online to have yoga sessions. And you can simply share online about your progress. That is if you choose to.

Spiritual

Whether you believe in a God or have a religion or not, yoga feels spiritual. You truly connect with your body, and you lean into the floor and feel connected to the Earth. It is hard not to feel some sort of spirituality when doing yoga properly.

Yoga as a practice is designed to allow those who practice it to achieve peace. There are multiple parts of yoga that emphasize things like clarity of mind, relaxation through breathing, and cultivating awareness.

Yoga gives us the opportunity to work through physiological and emotional challenges. And some yoga poses simply revolve around being.

Yoga is not a religion, and you do not need faith to practice it; it still feels spiritual. But it should be noted that the spiritual side of yoga is not linked to any form of worship in an organized manner.

This means absolutely anybody can enjoy yoga. Some people do feel that when they’re working through their asana, it can be similar to a prayer like experience.

Deepak Chopra has a very interesting set of teaching about the seven spiritual laws of yoga.

These laws can give you insight into yoga and its spirituality.

1. Law of Dharma - the purpose of your life.

2. Law of Detachment - don’t force situations; let it unfold. 

3. Law of Intention and Desire - Introducing your intentions and letting them manifest. 

4. Law of Giving and Receiving - giving what you want to receive

5. Law of Pure Potentiality - you are infinite in creativity, love, life, and consciousness. 

6. Law of Karma (Cause and Effect) - good actions general good results, and vice versa

7. Law of Least Effort - be motivated only from a good place, and you allow the universe to act and deliver goodness for you.

Peace

The absolute antidote for a busy modern life. Yoga should give you time to breathe, to learn how to push away negative thoughts and negative energy. Take time for yourself to relax and stretch and listen to your body. And the more yoga you do, the better you become at it, the more comfortable you will be in your own practice, the more comfortable you get within your yoga practice, the more you will begin to take away from each session.

Most yoga teachers are very calm and relaxing. Simply listening to them talk you through the poses and giving you the opportunity to just breathe for a few moments can really bring peace that you might not have had for the rest of the week.

We know that modern life demands a lot from us. Everything seems to be on a deadline, everything needs to be done immediately, and there is a sense of pressure and immediacy. That can leave people feeling very uncomfortable, but also finding very little time for themselves.

For example, if you step back and look at how you have spent the last few months, has it been horrid and rushed? Or could you say that you have truly found peace each week for yourself?

There is a moment during every yoga practice called Savasana that requires you to lay down and relax. Usually, with your eyes closed. This is designed to help you tune into tension and trauma within your system and begin to let that go.

Until you have been practicing yoga for some time, you are most likely going to have to keep reminding yourself to take those slow deep, healing breaths. When you attend yoga classes, your teacher will often remind you to slow your breathing and relax. This is because most of us are walking around with built-up tension, high blood pressure, and a lot of stress. Finding peace from yoga is something that comes with time.

So if you are ready to find a new path, one that will lead you to peace and relaxation - with a super-strong core, then yoga should be on your list. It is easy to start, welcoming to all backgrounds, and can help support the seven pillars of wellness that can make us feel great.

True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.
– Aadil Palkhivala

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