How To: Understanding Yoga

If you’ve been reading along with us these past few months, you know that we’ve written about meditation at work, lessening your stress and a whole host of other things to improve your routine, day and week. You know that we’re always here to help, to address trends, give tips and solve problems. Today, we’re going to address one of America’s biggest and most explosive trends: Yoga. In recent years, the ancient eastern art of yoga has exploded and evolved into American culture. In fact, Colorado is one of the most saturated yoga communities in the country! So, what is all the hype about? What IS yoga? How can you begin to explore and engage in the practice? As always, JustBe is here to help you demystify yoga and what it could mean for you.

First of all, it should be said that much of the yoga that is practiced in America is very westernized. While this is not necessarily problematic; the yoga practiced in America doesn’t typically represent the traditional Indian culture from which it comes. Being Americans, we like things to be a bit faster and bit more fitness related. Of course, this is great! It’s just important to keep in mind the traditional yogic culture and understand that yoga was originally intended to prepare the body for mediation.

With that being said, there are so many different forms of yoga that it can be hard to keep up. There are some 100 different types of yoga and hybrids are being created every day. While this may seem a little overwhelming, it is actually representative of how diverse and welcoming yoga really is! Don’t like the heat? Stay away from Bikram. Want to learn the fundamentals? Look into Ashtanga. Love the idea of increasing your flexibility? Go to Iyengar. Want to increase your strength? Check out Power yoga. What we mean to say is that no matter your skill level, passion or familiarity with yoga, there is a type suitable to you; all you have to do is find it.

So then, let’s talk benefits. Beyond yoga being incredibly good for your body, it’s also great for your mind. While Sanskrit (the ancient yogic language) tells us lots about yogic traditions, it also provides us with positive mantras that guide our practice. As an example, we’ll use one of the most fundamental and uplifting Sanskrit messages: Santosha. Santosha means inevitable contentment; the act of choosing to have gratitude, regardless of circumstance. Each and every time you step on your mat you can take time to set intention, to feel Santosha and understand that it is not called yoga perfect, it’s called yoga practice and its okay to make mistakes; on and off the mat. Your life is not perfect and neither is your body, and that’s okay. While this is just one of many examples of the positivity that yoga invites into your life, it’s the perfect way to demonstrate how deeply impactful yoga is on your body and your mind. If you’d like to know more positive mantras and Sanskrit messages you can always check out sources like Yoga Journal and Isha Foundation.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive guide to demystifying yoga, but it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to join the club and participate in the world’s fastest growing community! Good luck finding your place and Namaste!

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