A QUICK PREAMBLE:
So, the perfect exercise for curing what need not be endured? Tie yourself up in knots like the proverbial rubber-man or rubber-woman – or is it rubber-“person” these days? Anyhoo, i digress, so back to the topic at hand…
…eat carrot sticks, celery and lettuce for the rest of your life while you try to attain that perfect upside-down, knees-in-the-air, look-ma-no-hands position, while you pretend you’re NOT actually extremely uncomfortable…for hours?!?
Well nah, it’s not actually like that at all and it’s definitely a great cure-all. I know, because i use yoga myself and it most definitely works (even though i can’t tie myself in knots). It began for me several years ago after i’d suffered an excruciatingly painful lower back injury that Yoga exercises helped to put right – which i still use to this day, to ensure i NEVER suffer that problem ever again!
CUTTING TO THE CHASE:
A quick personal rant: good quality physical exercise of ANY kind is critical, not just for the sake of your physique or your weight maintenance, it’s absolutely essential for your mind health too. I’ll assume that you’ve heard the good old saying “A Healthy Mind Makes For A Healthy Body”, or at least something of that ‘ilk’. If you hadn’t heard this before, you have now…and it’s absolutely the spot-on truth!
Now, i know that a heck of a lot of people wouldn’t think that Yoga would fall under the umbrella of “Self-Help” or “Self Improvement” if you like, but those people really couldn’t be more wrong.
Yoga is truly the all-round, whole-body-and-mind exercise that can help with so many problems all at once, no matter what your age or your problems…
…as the story of the legendary ‘BKS Iyengar’ can prove. He passed away in August of 2013 at 95 years of age and was still practicing (and teaching) Yoga. Pretty damned amazing when you find out that he was born during a massive influenza epidemic in 1918, and he actually spent just about all of his childhood malnourished and sickly after being weakened from the effects of malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis…that is just plain inspiring…don’t ya think..?
He was a true “GURU” and a legend of Yoga and spent time training well known personalities and even royalty, such as: Sachin Tendulkar…one of the greatest cricketers of all time, Yehudi Menuhin...THE most famous Violin player ever, Madonna…say no more, and of course the Queen of Belgium. The man was well-loved and much-respected throughout the world.
Curing What Need Not Be Endured
The Yoga concept and practise was actually originally created for the purpose of preparing oneself for meditation, which of course is not always the simplest thing for a lot of people to do but it ended up making this particular type of exercise perfect as an all-body, mind-calming exercise. The large array of “Asanas”, or postures, are designed to gently work on every part of you.
Maybe you want to gain agility, maybe (like me and plenty of others) you want to fix a lower-back problem, maybe you want to increase your stamina, maybe you want to lose weight – Yoga is especially helpful for weight loss and weight control. Maybe you want to be mentally stronger or maybe more mentally relaxed or maybe you just want to feel better about YOU!
Any and all of these things and more, are what you can achieve by practising the gentle art of Yoga, because Yoga is a 100% natural approach for achieving any health goal – mental, physical or spiritual.
Easy To Learn, Easy To Do
There’s a lot to be said about joining a community or a club where somebody will spend (hopefully) quality time showing you and guiding you through the movements and Asanas, in the flesh so to speak, and of course if you don’t mind or can afford the expense. However, there’s also nothing wrong with doing it yourself in the comfort of your own home – if that’s what you prefer.
I must admit, i’m very much like that. I exercise with a simple set of free-weights and Yoga at least six days a week, and i like to perform all my and exercise in the privacy and comfort of my own home. I much prefer the peace and serenity that comes with the solitude while i exercise, and none of what i now practise was difficult to learn, or took long to learn.
All you need is somewhere comfortable, with enough room, and a decent book, DVD or CD from which you can learn all the right techniques…there are some truly great and inexpensive learning materials out there that won’t cost the earth and are well worth the investment if you’re serious about taking up Yoga, or any form of exercise for that matter…thank goodness for the internet!
A FINAL ANECDOTE:
Through my own experience and through the experience of many other people, friends and family, i can honestly say that Yoga is one of the greatest forms of true full-body exercise for the old and young alike. It’s really quite miraculous what it can do and what i personally have seen it do for people.
Coupled with a healthy, wholesome diet, you simply cannot go wrong with this life-lengthening exercise. Just a few short sessions each week will do. It doesn’t have to be every day and it doesn’t have to take up hours of your precious time…try it and you’ll soon feel the benefits.
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Here are three wonderful quotes from the late great, never-to-be-forgotten, BKS Iyengar:
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured!”
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame!”
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Carpe Diem, Be All You Should Be
Peter EC Kirwan