If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Yoga is actually a meditation technique cleverly disguised as a physical practice. At the end of the day, yoga is really about calming your thoughts, gaining some perspective, and connecting to yourself. Although the physical practice of yoga can be very fruitful, the best benefit is what happens to your mind.
Men, I want to encourage you to do Yoga. I'm still not into a lot of it. You'll probably never see or hear me talk about the deep spiritual side. But I take my deep breaths, I reflect inward, I calm myself after a long day. I do the things that reduce stress. I also find that I take the breathing and reflection time along with me on my running and into the weight room.
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would become a believer in the power of yoga, I would have laughed at you. I would have laughed long and loud before telling you to go back to the hippie colony from whence you came. Back then, yoga was nothing more than a trend to me, a trend that bred an army of vacant, granola-crunching women who were evolving into bizarre contortionist people. I wanted no part in it.
The feeling of inadequateness and shame was a rarity for me until on day when I entered the room for my yoga class and looked at the instructor and her gorgeous, toned and healthy body. The other women in the room looked similarly vibrant and beautiful. I glanced at my own reflection in the room's mirror and all I could see was my frizzy, frazzled self and the rolls of stomach hanging over my pants as I did the forward-fold position.
The word Yoga means union. As an Indian Philosophy, Yoga is a discipline through which body and mind are brought together in union, in complete harmony. It offers a holistic approach to life: through body poses, breathing, self-control of senses, diet, meditation, selfless actions, devotion and knowledge, to name a few.
Life is stressful. You wake up late. Or you wake up with allergies or a headache. You make it out the door, only to get crushed in the subway, stuck in traffic, or nearly 'doored' on your bike. You get into work, and you are already behind. Sometimes it feels endless. As a naturally depressed and anxious person, here are some things I suggest you do to relax...
It's something that happens all of the time in yoga classes: as you roll out of your downward dogs and settle onto your back for your final posture --...