Yoga is taking over the world — of all things.

There are far worse habits to become popular.

As generations seek lives away from the grind and hustle that has been laid before us, seeking movement as medicine, and the need to find a place of calm seems like a natural step.

While there are many modern yoga practitioners all across the world, yoga’s roots are firmly planted in India. However, it’s popularity and evolution has resulted in A LOT of its meaning being lost.

The ancient practice is so old, it’s thought to have began before time. It’s a spiritual practice infused with ways to strengthen the mind and body together as one. The practice releases energy and clears out the old to make way for the new. Yoga is just what us in the western world have come to associate with movement. It goes much deeper, and is far more abstract than you can imagine.

Notice how I haven’t talked about flexibility yet?

Let’s just get something clear, the idea of yoga “every damn day” is the cultural ritual of checking in with the body, mind and spirit. Whether you’ve been praciticng for years or are looking at this with fresh eyes, I encourage you to look into the roots of yoga. It’s much, much more than you think.

Let’s attempt to look into why yoga is important…

You Form a Positive Habit

Establishing habits that you’re conscious of making can be a rewarding process. However, it takes time, patience and diligence.

There are numerous studies and books that tap into how it’s done, you can learn more in my post about habit forming.

The mind works in mysterious ways, however, with the idea of having a reward, habits can be consciously formed over time.

To integrate yoga into your life, you have the reward of feeling strength and clarity in your body and mind. It feels good to add in some yoga to your life. Through practicing regularly, you’ll establishing this as a healthy habit.

The difference between yoga (as in asana) and other forms of movement is that yoga teaches positivity around the practice. There is no practice of dread or ideas of being hard on yourself— unless your teacher is adding this in through comments such as “it’s nearly over”.

Yoga is about doing what you can and finding the strength that you already have in you. By spending time focusing on the body and the mind, you’ll find you build strength in life too.

Yoga should be positive from the start, which makes it easier to form the habit as you look forward to your practice.

It’s easy to fall out of healthy habits as it is to fall into them. This is not something to beat yourself up about. At some point, you’ll find that you are ready as you crave these feelings again in the same way that you crave chocolate or hot tea. Then, you know it’s time to return.

Over time, these muscles, your connectivity and intuitivity, will strengthen, and you’ll seek out this healthy habit as much as you can.

Moving with the Breath

The foundation of all yoga is the breath.

In asana practice, breathing in and out takes you through motions.

The match of movement-to-breath eases and strengthens the muscles. The result is a healthy and dynamic body and mind that understands its limits. Following yoga allows you to identify pains and unease in your body and mind, and how they’re connected.

Through contining the practice, you’ll become armed with the tools to soothe them.

This not-so simple act of following the breath is a tool that you’ll come back to again and again as you move on in your wellness journey. It’ll lead you to healing.

The more you practice, the more you will find strength both inside and out.

Do What You Can

I’m going to blast this out the water, right here, right now.

Yoga is not difficult. Yoga is about doing what you can.

It’s not a competition. And it sure as hell isn’t about how good you are at it.

Modern yoga — which is what we understand as yoga — can look and feel like a hardcore workout. If you’ve ever done pilates, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of crossovers. You’ll even find HIIT workouts… among many other YouTube-able terms to build audiences and to satisfy the demand for exercise.

I urge you to connect with South Asian teachers that tap into the ancient practice of yoga before you decide what is for you. This is an ancient practice and culture, it’s important to learn more about its roots.

The deeper you get into this practice, some shit is going to come up that you haven’t experienced through movement before. Your body and mind will start to heal through the movement. And you’ll start to see it help you to do what you can with the challenges you face in every day life.

Self-Care in the Mind, Body and Spirit

Yoga is a practice of self-care for yourself and others around you.

As with all other self-care practices, it takes time to see the benefits. And there are so many that you can get from starting and maintaining a regular yoga practice, as I have just tapped into a little here.

As you connect your mind and body more often, you’ll start to recognise your abilities and feel more confident that you have the tools and the strength to grow.

Yoga is as old as time. And it’s lessons are being lost. So if you read this and feel like you have been really missing something, please connect with South Asian practictioners.

See how you can find ways to honour your practice and respect its value in South Asian culture and tradition by tapping into the authentic roots. For more on this, I really recommend checking out the Let’s Talk About Yoga podcast.

To get started, I’d love to know what yoga practioners you follow and learn from!

Comment below with who you follow!

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About the Author

Artist and writer following the flow on her own travel and wellness journey.

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