Finally, let’s talk about The Spiritual Benefits:
As I mentioned before, the root word of Yoga in Sanskrit is Yuj, which means to come into union. This practice is designed to bring the individual into harmony and at one with all that is.
This meaning, coming into harmony with all aspects of the body, mind and spirit as well as the outside world. The emotional body is a gate way to getting to know your spirit more intimately and these benefits also come naturally. When walking through this gateway, some find that they know nothing about themselves and would like to know more.
This curiosity is what will send you down the spiritual path and where you’ll receive the gifts Yoga offers.
For example, questions like: ‘Why I am here, How am I here and whats the ‘point’ of life? Are all questions that may start to arise when we get in-touch with spirit. When you set on an inquiry of the spiritual you begin to tap into the subtleties of energy, which can lead to pondering into the exploration of the soul. Yoga can be a very useful tool to go deeper into this inquiry, ultimately bringing you in touch with a stronger sense of spirit and what that is for you. Many find, myself included, the more I am sitting with myself, my body, my breath, my movements, my emotions…the deeper I feel connected to spirit, the source of life, God…again, whichever name you prefer.
I can assure you the creator/creatrix of the universe doesn’t mind what name you choose. Here is where one can get a feel for how this may look like, by letting the doors open you shed the light of attention onto universal and unconditional love. Yeah, I realize this may sound cliche and I am certainly not saying ‘do Yoga and everything will be light and love.’ I am saying however, that depending on the intentions for practicing Yoga, this inquiry can lead one down the path to their own truth.
Just like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Practicing Yoga daily will no doubt bring about physical benefits and as a bonus, if you are willing to take a deeper look in your inner world (sensations, thoughts and emotions), no doubt will the spirit of life begin to communicate. If you want it to be just a physical practice that’s what it will be and no shame there, however if you are open to Yoga transforming your life and opening you to the essence of all that is then your spirit will receive the benefits of deeper self love and compassion for others.
Here is just a short list of the benefits that your spirit receives when practicing Yoga:
- A sense of calmness, inner peace
- Exploration of energy
- Cultivation of awareness
- A deeper bodily and energetic awareness
- Removes blocks keeping one from fully experiencing life
- Opens one to creativity, healing and union
- Encourages self care
As you can see, there are so many various benefits to practicing Yoga. Another beautiful aspect about starting this journey, is all you need is YOU. As I mentioned before, there are so many different styles and techniques to this simple, yet complex practice, that it’s easy to get caught up in what it looks like. I am here to assure you, that your practice doesn’t need to look a certain way, its YOUR practice, your time and a wonderful gift to yourself!
Whether your laying down in Savasana (corpse pose) or busting out asana after asana, and whether you are at home laying on a blanket for your practice or at the most fanciest of studios with the nicest of mats, it doesn’t matter. Receiving the benefits of Yoga only requires one thing: for you to practice. If you go in with the intention to connect with prana, (in Sanskrit meaning life force or spirit of life and breath), along with connecting to the body, feelings and sensations… no doubt will you get what you are looking for.
This practice truly has no limits, because YOU have no limits! In Yoga one can fully feel into what it means to live in an infinite universe shining light and reflecting on an infinite being.
This is a practice of freedom, exploration and creativity. You can go with it as far as you’d like…the journey never ends. This is another true gem of incorporating Yoga into your daily life.
Unlike so many other things in life, there is no end goal, no destination, no stopping point, no one to beat… as it truly is the gift that keeps on giving asking for very little in return. Stepping into this practice with an open body, mind and heart will lead you down the path of true unity, which is really what our beings are craving. If you want to be into it simply for the physical aspect, that is what it will be and Yoga won’t fall short to any other exercise routine.
On the other hand, if you are open to it transforming your life and opening you to the essence of all that is, then your spirit will receive the benefits of deep self love and care along with a sincere compassion for others. Regardless of your choice, the practice will work its magic on all layers because that’s what its been designed to do. I invite you to come play and explore the jewels that this movement and philosophy offers.