By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Teaching Yoga is very special time, but all of us need time for solo practice or to sit in the back of the class a a student for a change. Many of us get so caught up in the routines and activities of daily life that we forget about our selves. Not only does it feel good to take some time for yourself every now and again, but it is also an important part of personal wellness. Everyone needs time to unwind, reflect, and recharge their batteries. When you do not take the time to take care of yourself, your body can begin to respond in negative ways. Backaches, headaches, fatigue, chronic illness, or weakened immune systems are just a few of the ways a body responds to poor care. Yoga is a powerful, proactive measure that anyone can take to ensure a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga allows you to forget about the rest of the world for awhile. When you practice Yoga, you are no longer a mother, a wife, a husband, or a business man. You are yourself, and that is enough. During a Yoga session, no one will demand anything of you that you do not wish to give. Your thoughts will settle. Worries will no longer seem quite so pressing, problems will feel a bit smaller. Suddenly, the only challenges in life involve focusing your mind, pushing your body to the next level, taking a deeper breath, or holding a pose for a bit longer.
In addition to the wonderful psychological benefits, Yoga also offers some great physical benefits. Yoga takes care of your entire body, inside and out. Your muscles will become elongated and strong. Your joints will become lubricated, making movements fluid. Your internal organs will receive fresh supplies of blood and oxygen, allowing them to achieve peak performance.
Although Yoga is often practiced in a group, it is extremely personal. It’s not about competing with others, but rather about going inside yourself for awhile. Yoga is not about how you look while practicing the poses, but how you feel. Each student will get out of Yoga what they put into it. Every technique is slightly different for each person, based on what feels good for them. Individuals can always make adaptations to poses based on physical issues or limitations.
A regular Yoga practice is a wonderful gift to give yourself. It is a simple way to keep your body strong and flexible, and to keep your mind balanced.
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