As a past Division I college athlete and marathon runner, many ask, “Why yoga?” To which my answer is simple, “Why NOT yoga?” The benefits of increased flexibility and strength are obvious. Not to mention greater focus and concentration with an awareness of breath. But the benefits of self awareness, assuredness and confidence answers the “why”. Through the practice of yoga we discover our true selves and learn to embrace and celebrate this self. We do not look for change or comparison, but rather growth and the lessons it provides.
Yoga is a practice-journey-and much more than asana (yoga postures). The awareness of pranayama (breath) is the foundation, and guide for the practice, which allows a deeper understanding and exploration of asana. The asana creates space (flexibility) within the body, but the breath deepens and expands this space. And it is through deepening our relationship with breath that we move toward greater understanding and mastery of asana.
The practice of yoga not only creates space within the physical body, but also space within the mind. The practice of pranayama and asana combined allows our rapid thoughts to settle, creating more clear, and creative thoughts to arise. As we move and breathe, we shed negativity, doubt and fear, settling into a state of positivity and joy! We embrace ourselves and who we are today, without thinking too far in the past or in the future. We learn to embrace the present moment and live in the now!