Finding A Balanced Life | A Blog About Yoga
Yoga has become a huge fad all over the country. Many people are becoming avid attendees, and this is wonderful! However, some people are still steering clear out of fear that yoga is only for “flexible” people. Yes, there are a multitude of health benefits but there is so much more to yoga. Let’s not forget it! To truly experience yoga, we need to look at the whole picture.
Yoga is a sequence of physical postures, paired with intentional breathing that allows our bodies and our minds to create space within. Practicing yoga takes us from our “hurried society” and slows us down, not only in our physical movement, but also our thoughts. When one practices yoga and stays connected to their breath they are naturally in the NOW, the present moment that so easily escapes us on a consistent basis. During our practice our minds cease to be constantly thinking about what we have to do next, what we were upset about that day, that week, last year, what happened at work, the mess you didn’t clean up in the kitchen this morning, the list goes on. When we become present in our practice, we create an opportunity for clarity, enlightenment, balance and solutions to come forward and to see things about ourselves that have been hidden by outside distractions.
Think of your yoga practice like an iceberg floating in the vast ocean. The physical poses in yoga are equal to the visible ice that floats, buoyant against the current. The rest of yoga including breathing, quieting your mind, connecting to your spirit and opening your heart is the larger part of the iceberg, hidden below the surface of the ocean. No one can see it, and no one knows how deep it goes; however we know that it is present and powerful. Yoga is healthy for anyone no matter the age, body type, gender, etc. It is a way for every individual to connect with their entire being, whether it is their very first class or they have been practicing for years.
As I stated earlier, the physical poses are only the tip of the iceberg. The essence of your practice is the breath, the quiet space with yourself and being completely vulnerable and open to whatever transcending experience takes place. Why do we need to encompass the whole iceberg? Well, because our minds and our bodies are a permanent feature of this life, and we must take care of it as the whole being that it is. Yoga is a healthy and gentle way of taking care of the inside and outside of the amazing vessel we live in. The way to decorate this living place is by creating space on the inside.
I began my own journey with yoga when I went on a 21-day yoga retreat on the island of Isla Mujeres at the Vastu School of Yoga. I was not experienced in yoga and had only attending one or two classes at home over the years. Yoga became a doorway for me to reach potential in myself that I was unaware of and that I subconsciously feared. The healing that took place for me during my journey happened organically during my practice on the island, nothing was forced and I had no idea any of these beautiful experiences would happen at all. I not only became stronger physically, but my spiritual awareness and mental focus began to operate at very high levels, and in turn helped me cultivate more happiness in my life. It helped stop the impact of daily negativity. I have learned to listen to my body and trust that it, along with my spirit, has most of the answers that I am searching for. With practice we can learn to look within for a solution, and not outside of ourselves.
I incorporate yoga into my life weekly, that’s what works for me! You have to find out what works for you and what your needs are. Everyone’s journey is unique and there is no “right way,” this is what is so amazing and freeing about the practice of yoga; it is your own experience and your own journey towards a balanced life.
Written by Kirby Hagen, Founder of Orange Hummingbird