What connects you to life on the yoga mat? If you’ve been doing it for years, what was your initial motivation and how has it changed? If you’re new to the practice, what made you decide to try it? It’s interesting to see how the motivation to incorporate yoga into our lives fluctuates depending where we are in life and on the mat.
For many, physical fitness is a primary motivator to practice yoga. Excellent choice. For others, the need for stress relief seems better coming from a yoga routine than a prescription bottle. And for others, the spiritual component of a meditative practice boosts not only physical wellness, but mental and emotional as well. As we spend more time on the yoga mat, we discover that our reasons for embracing the yoga lifestyle evolve, just as we evolve.
There’s no denying that physical fitness is the primary motivator for new yoga enthusiasts. It increases flexibility, strength, balance – just to name a few. You can’t help but be impressed by the truly seasoned yogis teaching the classes- they’re great role models for how yoga can benefit you physically. It’s also no secret that a healthy body can have a major impact on your state of mind.
So you’re getting the healthy body thing going, but how do you feel about yourself and others? An evolving yoga practice will connect you to the Earth, to your fellow human beings, those people you see every day and have contact with as well as those you merely glimpse on the street or see a picture of in the news. Yoga brings the connectedness of all things into focus and helps those of us practicing to be mindful of our own thoughts and actions as they have an impact we may never actually see. A peaceful, respectful mindset changes the way you perceive reality and gives you hope. And guess what? That in turn leads to a healthier body!
Yep, it’s a circle. The mind-body connection of yoga is unavoidable. Sure you can develop your body and your mind separately, but that’s kind of like having the bell and the clapper separated from each other. Neither can achieve its full potential without the other. But when they’re connected, the resonance transforms its environment. It travels outward and washes over everything in its path. That’s the kind of impact life on the yoga mat can have.