What is Yoga Anyway?

Yoga is derived from the sanskrit root word “yuj” which means to bind, yoke, union.  We often hear yoga defined as the union of the body, mind and soul.  And that is absolutely right.  However, Shankardev Saraswati (www.bigshakti.com) made it crystal clear for me when he said that yoga is “awakening consciousness.”  Simply, this means that the more conscious, the more lifeforce, the more you feel, the more choices you have and the more you live.  This resonates with me because for me, this makes it easy for me to “live yoga” versus thinking that doing yoga only happens on the mat doing asanas.  Living Yoga is bringing yourself to a place, however you get there, where you become so much more aware of every single moment and second that it enables you to live life much more fully. So while I love asana, I enjoy living yoga in all that I do in life. 

photo: Debby Kaminsky

hello

Debby’s

Two Cents

photo: Debby Kaminsky

Why is Yoga so Good?

These railroad tracks going into infinity are a great metaphor for the benefits of yoga--they are endless. Importantly, the breath in yoga is so beneficial.  Ujjayi breath is different than breathing in an aerobics, spin or pilates class, tennis court or marathon.  This breath helps to get the lymphatic system going which is great for cancer prevention. In fact, this breath has even helped people lose some weight.  Really.  There are workshops in NYC about losing weight through breathing.  This is true because with this breath, fat cells get into the lymphatic system and are expelled out from the body.  Yes, just breathe....and see your increased stamina too.  Yoga helps you become more flexible so if you are saying “I can’t do yoga because I’m inflexible”, I guarantee that you’ll gain flexibility.  Yoga helps you become stronger.  Not only will you see a difference on the outside (yes, you might even find that you no longer need or want to lift weights as I haven’t lifted in years) but you’ll really see a difference in your inner strength. Yoga helps your postureYou will stand taller. Four years ago at my annual physical, I was told I grew 1/2 inch ! Yoga helps to ease back pain.  Yoga can help to ease depressionYoga can help you eat better because unlike someone telling you that you should try a certain diet, yoga empowers you to figure this out for yourself. Yoga helps to reduce stressYoga helps ease migraines. Yoga helps you be the real you.

“And then the day came

when the risk to remain

tight in a bud was more

painful than the risk it took

to blossom.”          

                           --Anais Nin

The benefits go on and on.  Enticed yet?  There is a reason that yoga has become more mainstream in the last 10 years and now millions of Americans are practicing yoga, thousands of Americans are going through training programs to become yoga instructors and there seems to be new yoga centers opening up weekly.


    Debby’s Two cents


I started “doing” yoga in September  1997.  I didn’t start really “living yoga” until February 2004.  Yoga for me not only changed but significantly enhanced my life.  I used to be in advertising (loved that business and still do) which was a highly stressful, pressure-cooker environment.  I was highly stressed, a bit short fused, and didn’t know how to relax.  Yoga truly helped relieve my stress and more than that, helped to reveal who I really am as a person.  In corporate America, I wore a badge (a nice one albeit) of a senior level executive but was that who I was or was I being who I thought I needed to be in order to  break through the “glass ceiling?”  I love who I am and am grateful for yoga working its magic to allow me to live my life even more fully than ever.  I love life.  I love yoga.   YOGA WORKS.  Try it!

Thanks Twee for sharing this

       inspiring quote with me.

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Yes, do give yoga a chance.  It really works.  It really transforms.

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