The Power of Yoga
I believe in yoga. I believe in the full concentration it takes to focus my awareness on breathing and my body, or to sit cross-legged with my hands on my knees, meditating. I believe in deep breathing, stretching, and movements that release muscle tension, slow heartbeats and decrease stress. I believe in the patience I need to increase the flexibility of my spine, an essential requirement for yoga students. I believe in the stamina practitioners need to practice until they are perfect.
I believe it takes a special kind of faith and courage to remain focused on bending at the hips even when I am depressed by the fact that my hands can’t reach the floor, even after ten attempts. Just the ability to stay practicing and not dissolve into tears is impressive.
I believe yoga that makes me feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation makes me healthier in body, mind and spirit. Yoga lets me tune in, chill out, and shape up all at the same time.
I’m a relatively late blooming yoga fan, discovering its real joys when my friend Rebecca started it to alleviate her insomnia in 2008. Out of curiosity, Rebecca took yoga classes, but held no hope of restoring her troubled body. One day I went to see her in the training room. Rebecca was standing in a split pose. Her body seemed have reached the breaking point and she suffered from the pain. She complained to me and swore she would never do yoga again as soon as the course ended. However, when the next week came, she went to class as usual.
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We were both surprised that in the end she alleviated her insomnia. I was very surprised when she turned to me and shouted happily, “I can sleep again!” Yoga relaxed her and, by relaxing, she healed. Thus I believe yoga has magic power.
After that, I began to do yoga with her. Now I’m often seen meditating before go to bed, imagining my breath coming up through the floor, rising through my legs and torso and up into my head.
I have discovered that a whole world of emotions and skills are involved in yoga. Of course, I experience the emotions and respect my body. I’m finding that as I mature as a fan, my admiration and passion grows as I achieve more difficult postures.
In so many areas of my life, I have to temper my rages and suppress the urge to gloat. In yoga, I can fully indulge in the pleasure of watching my legs stretching more smoothly than before. In yoga, I can achieve inner peace and tranquility. In yoga, I come to know that one’s practice is always evolving and changing. Where else in my life am I completely free to experience the depth of all of these feelings all in just a one hour class？