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.
Too many times people return from vacation having had a great time, but also being down on themselves due to letting unhealthy habits dominate. People tend to overeat, drink more, and skip their work outs. It sucks to get away only to return feeling worse physically and emotionally than when you left! My friend Em and I are living proof that you can go on a vacation that is both healthy AND fun!
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.
It's been a month since my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and WOW has it been a learning experience! Changing diapers at 3 a.m., figuring out how to sterilize bottles, bathe the little one, strap her into the car seat, and rock her to sleep. One of my personal heroes, Ram Dass, once asked his guru "How can I attain enlightenment?" His guru replied: "Feed people and serve people." OK.
One of the most stressful material burdens we place on ourselves is all the stuff that comes along with success. For me, each pay increase was correlated with an increase in spending. I felt I needed to spend more on goods and services -- dog walkers, food delivery, house cleaning -- to accommodate my ever-more-demanding lifestyle.
So why have I not gone and committed to yoga before now? I was intimidated. My flexibility and balance are good, but when I tried yoga a few years back, I didn't excel. My head space was still overly competitive, and results based. I tell my clients all the time to do their best, and grow into fitness over time. I know it's what I should do, but it is far from what I do.
This time when I practiced yoga in Bombay, the honking actually relaxed me. I could feel the city's pulse as an insider and wasn't from the outside looking in. When I stood on my yoga mat high above the city, warm smoggy breeze in my hair, I felt as at peace with the honking as I would practicing yoga to the sound of crickets in a field.