Yoga, more than a physical exercise

The common public perception for yoga practitioners is that they have a flexible, tall and slib body, but as an instructor of yoga I always want to point out that yoga offers us much more than physical benefits. The impact of yoga on people practicing yoga goes beyond external benefits. Through yoga practice, we learn more about our body, learn to respect our boundaries and the patience we need to achieve what we want. But as this is achieved, the explanation is quite simple, concentration in breathing, in ourselves and knowing our body. (for the connection between yoga and breathing please refer to the previous post)

Asanas (postures) are a fundamental part of a yoga session. Asanas constitute body postures that are practiced during yoga sessions and each one has a specific purpose and benefits. Asanas are usually organized in series and aim to activate and balance the flow of energy in one or more chakras. Movement in asana is always coordinated with breathing. Usually during physical exercises we tend to keep the breath or breathing quick and short. The purpose of yoga exercises is the opposite, the combination of breathing motion, the duration of breathing of the athletes who aim to expand the abdomen and the chest, and the release of breathing in the poses that are aimed at narrowing the chest and abdomen.

Often clients in yoga classes focus on reaching a certain posture by keeping the body tight and tense without focusing on how their body is feeling at those moments. Cases of keeping muscles tense in relaxation asanas are quite frequent. If a yoga practitioner is not aware of his/her body, in which parts or the body are tens and is not concentrated on breathing, he/she will experience a certain asana as uncomfortable and will lose patience. Our aim for each asana should be as if we could stay in that posture in eternity. Therefore focusing at the present moment, following the instructions, and concentration on breathing are essential during a yoga session. If a posture seems impossible to reach remmeber that you are just a breath away! In yoga we do not aim for perfection, just observe where you are, be present and you will notice the difference each practice more. With concentration and dedication everything is achievable. It is important to remember that the aim of yoga or other physical activities is leaving the studio/mat feeling good and relaxed not tense or injured .

To conclude, be aware that a yoga session is not just a serie of fast uncontrolled movements.

Although according to studies conducted, a quick yoga session may have benefits similar to those of aerobics or other disciplines, its primary goal as a discipline goes beyond increasing the heart rate or sweating. Yoga aims good health, harmony between body and mind and activating prana (energy). Through the practice of yoga we learn the patience, good health, strong body and total well-being.

Namaste, Dodona

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