Yesterday morning I was vibrating and mentally spiraling so I went to a yoga class because I just couldn’t practice on my own. But yoga is just not a pill you take when you are feeling crazy; it’s also not something you just do to accomplish a goal; and although these are both valid reasons for going to a yoga class, it is way more. Yoga is a spiritual practice designed to discharge negative energy, restore optimal muscular, skeletal and cellular physiological functioning, enhancing resiliency on all levels to facilitate stillness of the mind for universal connection. All suffering begins in the mind; so does all healing.
Yoga is so misunderstood by many. It is clouded by others’ misperceptions and societal beliefs which have been promoted and marketed for personal gain or out of fear, attachment, aversion, ego and ignorance. Yoga is a spiritual practice of the mind that helps the body and connects us with our highest spiritual essence – with God however you perceive the divine.
I woke up this morning to a headline that read: “Federal state of emergency could help treatment”. A 23 year old died from an overdose, and the new law aims at stopping addition before it begins focusing on the doctors and health care providers prescribing highly addictive opioids for injuries. I don’t normally read the newspaper because I refuse to give energy to negative self-perpetuating manifestations. But this article just jumped off the paper prompting me to share a proactive, preventative and positive message that lets you know how yoga helps – all of us.
Without getting too technical, yoga works on the functions and physiology of the brain; it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system releasing a whole pharmacy of hormones that counteract our crazy busy minds, and yes – addiction too. Breath work, meditation and mindful movement, retrain the brain and regrow synapse connections formerly broken due to stress or chemical use. Now, this takes a while….it is not a process that happens overnight, but it works, and there are countless case studies available to document this work. And, it works for all of us.
Now, I am not a doctor and do not profess to give any medical advice whatsoever. But I do know that there are alternatives to healthy, happy, peaceful living and it does not come in pill form.
Let’s face it we are all a bit crazy from time to time. Stress from normal daily functions, i.e.: work, family, school, friends, loss or feeling alone, empty or anxious about an upcoming event are normal reactions. We all have these feelings. Many of us use our own method for dealing with stress. Some of these methods are healthy positive choices and others not so much. We might self-sooth with food, wine, an after work cocktail, or exercise; and many of us are medicated. These self-soothing practices are usually unconscious.
The practice of yoga increases conscious awareness of the mind, body and all intangible spirit. One of the biggest challenges we face today is that when we are upset or stress out, it manifests physically. When we have a problem physically we go to the doctor; when we are struggling with mental duress, we go to a counselor or psychologist; and when we wrestle spiritually, we might visit our pastor or seek spiritual guidance. But the mind, body and spirit are not separate entities…they are one.
Yoga works to reunite these energies on a deep and profound level. It retrains the mind which has hijacked the body and spirit. It opens the vast gateway to divine consciousness, peace and harmony through breath, meditation and physical release of stored energy using somatic movement based therapy (also known as asana). Don’t take my word for it. Find a qualified yoga teacher and begin a practice…see for yourself. The proof will be evident once you begin; you will feel the difference, and you will know it to be true.
I practice yoga because it makes me feel normal, whole and connected. I practice yoga because it connects me to the divine as I understand it…and it feels great.