The reason yoga has its very own page in this blog is because it addresses all four quadrants of our lives in such beautiful, gentle and profound ways. I had no idea of its power before I rolled out my first mat and now yoga is a very large and important part of my life. When I began practicing 19 years ago it was strictly to help me deal with debilitating pain (primarily in my back). Little did I know that pain was the easy part for yoga to address!!
Over the years, yoga has helped in more ways than I probably realize. I am better grounded, even through the daily challenges of having four kids and I am a better mother for it. I am less angry; I feel more connected to who I am and why I am here. I am more conscious of others and much more compassionate. The word “yoga” means “union” and I certainly feel more united (connected) with my own spirit, the people in my life, and humanity in general.
There are 8 aspects (limbs) of yoga including “laws” (guidelines), breath, poses, personal control and observation, meditation and complete surrender to the divine. Every day, I use yoga to help me be a kinder, more loving person – I use the ten “laws” of yoga to guide my thoughts and actions (truthfulness, do no harm, do not covet, contentment and surrender are my top focus). I try to pay attention to my breath as I go through my day, using it to bring peace and joy to the roller-coaster ride of life. Of course, I go to my mat as often as possible but I also try to “do yoga (poses)” while standing in line, sitting on the bus etc… With practice, I have learned to observe my thoughts, words and actions and to make better choices as the moment unfurls. Again, with practice, I am better able to fall into prayer (and meditation) no matter where I am (I use prayer beads which have helped enormously) and I try each day to trust that I am fully in the care and support of the divine, that all is as it should be.
Yoga is not about faith and, as far as I am concerned, anyone, regardless of the faith and path they choose, can use yoga to become a more conscious, spiritually-focused person.
“Many paths, One God” – Gandhi
There will be short practices added in the coming months so please check back.
Please check out my 500 Days of Yoga blog at http://www.lesleyhobbsyoga.com/