Have you ever felt an overwhelming happiness at the end of one of your yoga classes? All the worries gone, being able to breathe deeply with ease: everything in balance? This is what I felt after my first Yoga class and I never stopped practicing yoga since.
You could feel this way, too, thanks to the benefits of the yoga postures. For instance, opening the chest with backbends could easily make you feel energetic and able to breathe deeply and easily. On the other hand, Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) can have a sedative and neutralizing effect on the nervous system producing a feeling of calmness.
Nowadays we often overwhelmed by work, by responsibilities, everything is so fast paced. Thus, it is rare to be able to find time to connect with ourselves. We are always living in the future, what’s next, what do I have to do next? The mind is always spinning, projecting us ahead in the future; we are rarely able to appreciate the present moment, the moment we are living. We become unaware of our breath and most of the times the breath is shallow and irregular, causing a feeling of anxiety, sadness, nervousness and tiredness. Do you ever stop even for a second to notice your breathing? For most of us, we are so busy worrying about the past and the future that we do not pay attention to our breath, to our feelings in the “here and now”.
It is easy to lose ourselves by always living in the outside world, not having an awareness of who we really are, not being able to see inside ourselves. We become detached from ourselves. We look for happiness outside, for wealth outside, for recognition of who we are outside, but by doing this are we really happy?
If you are one of those people that often feel sad, suffer from depression or anxiety, I would suggest you to try yoga and see what happens. If you do decide to try, try a one to one session or a group class that you choose to take with no expectations. Don’t feel like you have to be the best or push yourself beyond your limits, there is no competition with others and with yourself.
To feel a deeper and lasting effect of the asana practice you’ll have to be persistent and disciplined, practicing regularly. In fact, the asana practice will create and increase awareness of your body, of your senses, of your mind. With practice you’ll be able to develop awareness of your thoughts, you’ll be able to sense the fluctuations of the mind, you’ll be able to recognize your internal states and to change them before they turn into negative thoughts or feelings. You’ll have the tools to bring your body and mind in balance.