Yoga is an ancient practice, and one that millions of people across the world swear by for spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. Yoga involves concentration, balance, and the ability to clear the mind to bring about a sense of self. Finding who you are, where you belong, and your overall purpose in life can help you feel more accomplished and welcome in this great journey we call life.
If you’re looking for a practice to bring about more patience, a stronger body, and a greater sense of your purpose, yoga might just be it. Here’s how yoga can help you recover what you have lost or find what you have never found.
How To Begin
So, how does one begin practicing yoga? It’s quite simple, actually. You don’t even need a fancy yoga mat or studio to get started. You can start at home with what you have. Start by finding a nice quiet place in your home. This can be a bedroom, studio, or even your living room. The key to a successful session is to minimize distractions and let your mind be free. Don’t think about anything but the present; where you are, who you are, and what you are.
Release all of your expectations. Yoga is not the place for pre-conceived notions or pointless expectations. If you expect yoga to heal all of your worldly woes, you’ll likely be disappointed. You won’t be able to master some of the more complex yoga moves at first, or even within a few weeks, in some cases.
Pace yourself, and don’t expect to become a calm, masterful yoga practitioner. This can take years of intense focus and dedication, and you’re only just beginning. But the journey ahead can be beautiful and wondrous, despite its length and obstacles.
It’s More Than The Physical
Yoga aims to help you unify the spirit, the mind, and the body. It’s about so much more than just getting exercise and become flexible in your stretches, though these benefits are certainly good for the body. Yoga practitioners tend to have better muscle tone, be more flexible, have better heart health, and lower BMI.
When you’re performing your yoga moves, it’s important to be slow and move with intent. Yoga helps create a safe place for you to focus solely on you, without the distractions of the outside world or other people. You’ll learn to let go of the need to be perfect, to remove all thoughts of your limitations, and get your mind turning in the right direction.
Yoga has even been used as a therapeutic tool for conditions like anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Its calming nature and focus on the self can help you recover who you are and where you belong while helping to manage those symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
Why Your Sense Of Self Is So Important
An existential crisis occurs when you lose track of who you are, what your purpose is, or where you belong in the world. This can be as minor as asking these questions of yourself frequently, or as major as having a full mental breakdown because you don’t feel like you belong anywhere or have any purpose in life.
As humans, we’re bound to ask the question of “why am I here?” at some point. This question has been asked by some of the greatest minds to have ever lived, and most have found no definitive answer. Yoga can help teach you to let go; to accept the things that you can’t change, the questions you don’t have the answers to, and the problems that don’t have a solution.
Acceptance is an important part of growth. It’s vital that you understand that not everything has an answer or a solution, and that’s ok! Your sense of self is something you can still have even without all of the answers.
Who Can Practice Yoga?
The great thing about yoga is that anyone can practice it. Young, old, healthy, unhealthy…it matters not. Yoga is an accessible means of connecting with oneself via physical exercise and mental focus.
Many people find it beneficial for managing stress or simply getting into shape. Others dive deeper, searching for meaning in the depths of their minds, or learning to let go of the unknown. Whatever the case may be, yoga has proven health benefits and thousands of years of practice have shown us that it is effective.
Yoga may just be the best medicine for when you’re feeling like you don’t belong. By focusing on the self, letting go of expectations and the need to be perfect, and working to align mind, body, and spirit, you’ll find a sense of self-satisfaction you didn’t know existed within you.