Namaste. It’s National Yoga Month.
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Namaste is a greeting in India, and usually used in a yoga class, but it means a lot more than “Hi!”.
Some people define it as one soul greeting another, the light inside of one recognizing the light inside of another, or a celebration of the spark inside our heart center that connects us all.
People begin their yoga practice for many reasons, because there are many yoga benefits.
Many times, people begin practicing yoga for physical reasons, like increasing flexibility, strength, or balance. Then, they find out that yoga is so much more.
Though we don’t know exactly how long humans have been practicing yoga poses, the oldest stone depicting yoga poses is estimated to have been carved in 3000 B.C. The tradition of following strength and flexibility poses continued through the ages, as philosophy behind the practice began being written. Whether by accident or through study, modern yogis and common yoga practicing participants soon find the mind-body-spirit connection that makes yoga special. Learning the philosophy and living the philosophy is a life-long process for people all over the world. People soon find, even when not told, that certain poses bring on feelings of peacefulness, serenity, and blissfulness, while invoking an overall connection to the world around us in the present moment.
Through yoga, we learn how to
- breathe correctly
- align our bodies correctly
- maintain focus
All of this can lead to an overall feeling of well-being and less stress.
When asked about personal yoga stories, it is amazing the variety of stories. Many people define their yoga story as “life-changing,” or even “life-saving”.
Stacey is a yoga and holistic life teacher that found yoga by prescription.
“Instead of pushing pills on me,” she says, “my doctor encouraged me to make lifestyle changes, yoga being one of them, in that it would help me slow down my thoughts and calm my mind, hopefully lessening the headaches and insomnia. Reluctantly I tried it…and it worked! It was amazing the changes it made in a fairly short period of time.”
For those plagued with arthritis and pain in their bones and joints, yoga can bring relief.
“Phyllis has arthritis in her spine but can do a full back bend and she can also now do a head stand, pigeon pose and full splits!”
Phyllis is 83.
Sara was dealing with heartbreak when she found yoga.
“At first, it was just an escape from the sadness and something to fill my suddenly empty evenings and weekends. But my yoga practice grew into something far more sustaining…I felt physically strong in a way that I never had before. More importantly, I felt mentally strong, calm, and centered. The practice continued to serve in equal parts as both sanctuary and savior through ensuing dating drama and career woes.”
Sara credits yoga for helping her find her true calling. She left her high-powered corporate job and is now a teacher.
This incredible story comes from Meir Schneider, author of the new book, Vision For Life: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement
“I overcame my blindness through yoga, massage and exercise. What many people do not realize is that our eyes are comprised of muscle pairs. We can exercise our eyes just as we would exercise other parts of our bodies. As a teenager I met a Yogi on the beach in Tel Aviv. At that time many pioneers practiced on the beach there. They taught me how to stretch my body, how my eyes were connected to the rest of my body.”
Though it was a long process of serious study and practice, Schneider improved his eyesight.
Finally, yoga quite literally saved the life of Jenna. She was taking a yoga class and very in-tune with her body when she found a problem in her lung. If she had not paid close attention, she would not have found it. The doctors hadn’t. “Eventual diagnosis?” she writes, “Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma.” Through her yoga practice, Jenna had learned about inner peacefulness and calmness. Instead of fighting, she meditated through chemotherapy and continued her daily yoga practice. That was in 2008. Jenna teaches yoga and helps others with their journeys in yoga and life.