By Deema Khabbazeh
It still amuses me when I try to explain to people that yoga is not just about sitting like a rock with eyes closed and absent mind. Although in a certain way, who really wouldn’t like to be able to drop everything and just thinking of nothing?
Yoga comes in many shapes. It can be slow, fast, strong, mild or simply meditative but the benefits of yoga go a long way beyond just exercise. Yoga is a discipline and a not-so-cliche-way of life, a very personal one that relates to you. If you have started your journey you may have felt it in one form or another.
I’m not here to teach you what yoga is. I just want to share my experience with you and see if in any way you can relate.
I came to learn about yoga from my doctor 11 years back to be exact. I had the same thought you had about sitting like a rock until I realized it really helped to transform my life.
I remember my first class. I was focusing too hard trying to decipher what people around me were thinking. Thinking can’t be that hard! But I found out the more you try to focus outward the more frustrating it gets, so I decided to begin to tune in my journey. Just like everything else, I had to work it. My instructor at the time was a very patient man and he used to push me only when I was ready.
I started to go two to three times a week because I wanted to understand. I wanted to tone up and exercise but I also wanted to get beyond that. To correct my everyday posture, to relate, feel and understand myself and get that time out where everything else ceases to exist.
See yoga is more about listening internally. It means moving in harmony with your breath. It doesn’t matter who is in the room, what they can or cannot do, how they balance or what they dress like. What matters on the mat are how strong your posture is, how deep and rhythmic you can breathe, and how flawlessly you can move slowly and deliberately every muscle in your body to capture the right pose.
So if you are just starting, don’t get discouraged so quickly. We live in a noisy world, we are too accustomed to it than to the true nature of peace. If you feel challenged because you think you should ace it, remember to leave your ego at the door.
Lastly, if you’re trying too hard to make it, you are missing the point to just be.
Why bother? Well for starters science is proving the benefits are real; your organs’ health; your heartbeat, your breathing, your toning, your stamina, your balance, your core, your overall fluids, circulations, your muscles, spine and last but not least your state of mind.
Try out different classes and teachers if you are not sure you’ve found the place. It’s important to feel at ease as well and to pick the rhythm of yoga you like.
Remember, it’s your journey and your yoga so go on and explore your “just be.”
Have I mastered it? (smiley face) I have undergone a huge transformation. Today I am a 200 hr- certified teacher and still a corporate businesswoman too. I still stress and I still face some blue days but I am healthier, happier and far more in sync with myself than I have ever been. I am miles away from when I was told I may need medicine for life until I changed my discipline and instilled yoga in my everyday.
My friend, it’s a long way to go but if you got this far in my article, I hope you understand as we continue to evolve, it’s always key to try.
A wanderlust yogi, traveler, adventurer, coach, and writer who wants you to join her for making the world a better, kinder place.
Contact Deema for further information about her experience!