There Is No Perfect Yoga Body—Yoga Is Perfect For Every Body
We have all read, heard, seen and felt the multitude of benefits resulting from physical activity. Whether you already have a gym membership, or walk, surf and play sports to get your fix, the intention of this simple note is to help shape things into a different perspective for those of you who might have already proclaimed, “Yoga is not for me.”
Unlike any other sport, yoga is a field where everyone is a winner—going in and coming out. Because winning is not about getting a medal for bending into a pretzel, or who does the best asana [pose], but about learning to do the best asana for your body in each moment. Every day we wake, we receive a new body.
You also might have already heard that our breathing affects the mind, our thoughts affect the immune system, what we eat affects our mood, and physical activity affects emotions, and so on and so forth. But did you know that yoga also holds a reputation for helping bring mood, energy, and metabolism into a more satisfactory balance? Understand though, that balance is not a fixed place at which you arrive, but a constant adjustment process to the circumstances of each moment.
The ability to expand one’s attention to all areas of the body while simultaneously directing focus to specific parts improves powers of mind. Developing mental awareness, mental clarity, and insight are not only at the heart of yoga, but cultivating this inner focus will make our physical practices far more interesting, engaging, and effective. Yogis practice to learn and grow, not to win and defeat. Yoga is the art of balancing attaining with attuning.
“Yoga is not a goal. It is a lifelong process of living and learning
that nurtures our being and that enriches the quality of our days.”
Yoga does not take time—it gives time. If you ever question your progress in terms of improving strength, flexibility or endurance, start thinking of it from the long view perspective—maintenance. Most people would be delighted if they could be in the physical condition they are in today twenty years from now. It’s important to recognize that asanas are only tools, and their purpose is to serve our body, mind and spirit. We need to practice so that, looking back years from now, we’ll be content with ourselves.
Advancing our practice implies refining our ability to see and listen to our body on deeper and subtler levels. Refining this internal perception is more important than merely attaining more exotic postures. Next time you set foot on a mat, keep in mind that your practice is for you—for your growth, development and well-being. Even staying in the same place is a great attainment! And for those of you who don’t consider yoga a workout, I mean that literally and figuratively speaking J
I encourage you to stay open-minded—forever endeavor™. Enjoy each moment to its fullest, and move from an inner place of being, rather than from an outer place of doing.