Krishna said to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “None of your efforts here are wasted, not even the smallest.” Despite the fact that we are here today in this age mostly practicing the physical aspect of yoga, asana; unbeknown to some, yoga is a vastly integrative science of life composed of a whole world more. And indeed, whilst that throwing shapes on your mat once a week 100% counts as that grand but small effort to foster a greater sense of wellbeing, that little step is subconsciously contributing to the bounty of your life in a plethora of ways...
The great gift of yoga as a science, is that it nourishes and serves us at every level of our being and contributes to greater wellbeing in all domains of life. Hence why at Amelia Nour we can’t recommend yoga enough, so read on to delve a little deeper into some of yoga’s most fundamental benefits.
- Yoga develops a deeper sense of connectedness with others
Yoga is all about the collective. Despite its principled attachment to the self-inquiry of the individual, its central experiences are indeed private and personal, but are ultimately collective and communal. Whether you’re going to class and making friends, attending classes with a family member, vocalising your mental or physical discoveries from a self practice with a loved one, indeed even teaching a class, or practicing online at home: Yoga tiles together all walks of life into a bountiful mosaic of a global community. It encourages us to bond. The word “yoga” it’s self is derived from the Sanskrit root verb “yuj” translating to mean “to join”, “to yoke” or “to unite” - While this can lead us to multifarious interpretations, the bottom line is that by incorporating yoga into your life, a meaningful social life develops to boot!
- Regularity of the practise beautifies the mind by encouraging meditative flare
The act of contorting your body - whether in Yin or advanced Ashtanga - into varied shapes purifies every layer of your being. A dedicated yogi learns to come into quietude within the seat of their own self. Thus in practising yoga, the marriage between asana and meditation is incontestable. The – inevitable – meditative benefits that yoga has on the mind centralises around an awakening to the conception that: there is a consciousness beyond anatomical “me”. The seamless art of ego-disassociation that yoga cultivates through focus, quiet and breath-work enables us to gain access to not what we feel, but who is observing what we feel. Not what you think, but who is observing what you think. This inner inquiry naturally becomes ritualistic and addictive. And, ritual is to meditation what physical exercise is to health.
- Not to mention, yoga seriously beautifies the body
The physical practise of yoga preaches bringing into sync mind and body, by using the medium of the breath. The intention of the “exercise” is to set your intention for your practise to apply all your effort into deepening, lengthening, extending your asanas to beautify the body (and complementarily as discussed above, your mind!). Asana practise encourages the anatomical understanding of the importance of learning how to fire the muscles in symphony, rather than overusing any one muscle or part of the body at a time. Thus yoga as a functional exercise results in a lean, toned and sexy body that you’ll feel great in, and be excited to show off! A decent yoga class from a qualified teacher will not only work every single muscle in the body, but will also beneficially stimulate every single one of your internal organs. Hence why yoga is prescribed for a multitude of ailments: because it has been crafted and designed over centuries to actually heal.
- Connection to spirit
According to ancient yoga philosophy, the study of yoga ultimately helps us to understand our role in the enfoldment of the universe: that through self realisation, one experiences the interconnectedness of all life. As we explore our own personal “eco systems” through yoga, we become more mindful of its interrelation to not only others’ “eco-systems”, but also the planet’s. To practice yoga is to practise spirituality in a scientific way. And without awareness of any spiritual dimensions of life, we are living impoverished lives. The more we can incorporate the virtues of curiosity, consideration and appreciation into our yoga practise and life, the more space there is for divine wisdom to make itself known.
We can’t encourage you enough to take up a little yoga. In life you tend to think you need a map, but what you really want is a compass - Yoga will inevitably always point you in the most auspicious direction, acting as your own personal compass for navigating life in the most abundant way imaginable.