We exercise to stay fit, healthy, energized.We know it’s beneficial; but, most of us have to psych ourselves up to do it. Even the word exercise emanates a sense of duty vs. reward. “I have to exercise” sounds like an obligatory chore. Don’t recall anyone beaming and saying…”I get to exercise!”…ever.
Exercise morphed from the Latin word, exercitium, meaning ‘training exercise for soldiers’ or ‘performing a disciplinary act’. The why of exercitium was not personally rewarding. It was preparation to fight. The word over the centuries stayed in the lane of performing a duty or act of discipline. There are results in discipline. To exercise demands discipline. But, why not do something with results that provide more than a badge of discipline to wear?
Bliss. The energy of unbridled happiness. A sweet state of euphoria. 100% contentment. How one finds their bliss is a journey of self exploration. It’s not from discipline. You can pay for exercise training and maybe have a body to show off. But, does that make you happy? Bliss can’t be bought. You have to loosen up to find your bliss. Yoga provides the trail and the yogi explores the terrain. You start on a mat above the surface; but, ultimately find riches between intrinsic layers deep within.
Yoga doesn’t lead you to a single treasure chest of priceless jewels to open. It helps you find golden nuggets to store in your personal treasure chest. That is what keeps you coming to the mat.
Yoga delivers superficial (physical) fitness and mental/emotional fitness. It helps keep all systems in balance. Better habits are ingrained. From deeper breathing to good posture to less restrictive perceptions of outside circumstances. You practice for yourself, but, somewhere along the way, your practice touches others. You learn to polish the nuggets you’ve found and become less concerned when you’ll find more.
If you have a scientific mindset, you like to know the specifics…how, what and why change happens, yoga provides unlimited facets to research. You’ll be amazed the more you learn about yourself and the community of cellular interconnection from head to toe.
If you have the mindset of an achiever, a goal setter, don’t stop til it’s done, yoga provides a space of personal refuge in between destinations. You might even slow down a bit to appreciate and be present in the process of manifesting your dreams.
If you have a mindset of ‘I don’t have time’; well, yoga has a sneaky way of slowing time. If something is important to us, we make time for it. After a good practice or two, you’ll find the time. Trust me.
It you still use the excuse, ‘I’m not flexible’, save it. That’s the first surface the practice peels off. Enough said.
If you think yoga is just for a certain age, certain genre, certain health status, certain anything…stop limiting yourself by structured thinking. That’s what needs to be stretched. Yoga can do that. Once you discard certain words from your vocabulary, better ones arrive. Augment your brain cells by gleaning new and unfamiliar words. Use it or lose it applies to everything.
Why has the practice of yoga lasted for centuries while various methods of fitness come and go? Because it is real. It is integrous. It is personal. It is an ego balancer. It is loving. It is nourishing. It is unconfined. It strengthens you. It softens you. You find your bliss.
Bliss, in Hindu theology, comes from the Sanskrit word ananda. Ananda means joy, happiness, bliss. Go deeper in the word’s past, it branches out from the word, nandati, meaning “he rejoices”.
So, why yoga? Simple.
Your practice morphs into an energetic rejoice of bliss you manifested. It is an altered method of discipline.
It stretches physical moves beyond exercise. Your body gets to move, strengthen and nourish from the inside out. And, unlike exercise, you bask in the knowledge you get a sweet nap (Savasana) to absorb your efforts….;)