Yoga is not an exercise but a lifestyle that leads to a joyful life.
The physical benefits of yoga are very apparent by the number of people who are doing yoga every day. More and more medical personnel are suggesting that their patients begin a yoga class to help with people’s chronic medical issues. People of all ages are learning how the asanas (the postures) make them stronger and more flexible, even more so than lifting weights.
However, yoga is also a great tonic for depression and anxiety. The physical practices release the built up stress that forms lactic acid and adrenaline in the muscles and joints. This frees the mind from the chemicals caused by worry and fear. The relaxation practices neutralize the negative energy patterns that bombard our bodies and minds, due to the calamities that we meet throughout life and the irritations of the people and things around us.
Yoga’s practice of meditation also allows people to master “the roaming tendencies of the mind” and brings stillness and peace to them. This stillness and joy, then, transforms the anxious person into one who is able to flow and bounce with the challenges of life. We are able to maneuver through the “water rapids” of the political world, the arguments about guns, the concerns about drugs, and all the other patterns of our daily societal reality.
In addition to that, when a person begins to examine the philosophy and lifestyle suggestions that support the postures, the relaxation exercises and meditation, one learns how to experience real joy and peace, because one learns how to take control of daily life. We become the driver of our own destiny.
We learn to be non-harming of ourselves, our bodies, our minds, as well as kind toward all we encounter.
We learn how easy it is to tell the truth and how easy it is to not fabricate lies to make ourselves look better than we might think we are.
We learn how to refrain from taking the limelight from another because we realize that we don’t have to make ourselves any more important than we are. We realize that we are divinely made and that our essence is goodness and beauty.
We learn to use only what we need in life without accumulating “stuff” that eventually clutters our life.
We learn how to control our sensual desires—not only our sexual desires, but also our desires for sugar and stimulants.
Yoga teaches us how to keep our body, mind and spirit clean.
Yoga teaches us to stick to a pattern of life that burns away the temptations to jump from one thing to another.
Yoga teaches us to know all the parts of ourselves. We learn about all four physiological systems and even how to regulate them.
Yoga teaches us to stay focused on our spiritual life, not letting the diversions of life become anxiety-filled and competitive.
Yoga teaches us that surrendering to the Source of Life brings ultimate joy and happiness.
In short, yoga teaches us to be happy with ourselves and with all that life presents to us without becoming passive.
Yoga gives us a lifestyle that actively includes physical asanas, relaxation practices, and meditation that teaches us to accept the loving flow of life. We begin to live peacefully and joyfully again.
Yoga is truly the lifestyle of joyful living!