I was running in the nearby park during my training for a full marathon early this year, when I met a group of women. One of them threw me a question – “Hey Tanya, we see yoga everywhere nowadays, in the corporates for employee de-stress programs, gym packages, Yoga festivals, wellness spas, Ayurveda treatments, wellness workshops etc…does/can yoga actually transform life?
I smiled. I cited them the story of Molly.
Molly Boeder Harris did yoga to support and maintain her physical health. It changed when she was raped in 2003 while running in a public park. In that brutal reality of her life, Yoga gave her the chance to reorient herself from the harsh situations. It is the most holistic method of healing, it helped her find out the physical symptoms, overcome mental challenges, navigate relationship disruptions in family and outside, and approach the inevitable existential questioning that accompanies this kind of trauma. And then she says “Yoga Gave Me Freedom After Being Isolated by the Weight of Rape”.
It will be worth reading her blog her that has her story called – the Re-wounding of Healing. There are so many stories in the world when people have opted yoga and life changed, when nothing worked for them.
Click here to read a few.
Yoga has touched many deeply wounded, physically and mentally hurt lives. And while many of us would like to do away with Yoga saying it’s too spiritual for us, Yoga provides better posture, personality, targeted weight loss, improved heart health, reduced digestive problems and relaxation. The newer perspectives to life that it adds happen not only if you take it up properly, but also if you do it even once or twice a week.
And then there is STILL much more to it.
Along with range of motion and muscle strengthing, it’s about patterns and reworking on them. As you go along in practice, the body starts feels untrapped (of what? you will unravel). In personal life, it rewires our own perceptions of pain. From the day you begin, mind-body practice is frequently used for its ability to reduce stress.
It’s in your relationships you start feeling its transformative power – perhaps more profound changes like how you see the world from the mat. Some people like me develop focus, some love the ‘in-the-moment’ power of practice, some find a solution to their lifestyle diseases like thyroid etc. Everyone who practices yoga has been touched in some way.
Let’s talk about a yoga asana – Headstand
Taking a new shape in the body leads you to learn how to take a new shape with the mind too.
Let’s take an example of Headstand! Even before you try this yoga asana you end up saying “There’s no way I am going to be able to do a Handstand…no…its too tough”. Inversions have always scared people.
And then, for some it’s a practice of few hours, others could take a year or more. Why do you keep trying, even though your brain has already told you that it’s too tough? You still keep at it because the more you try, the more you can see yourself inching towards getting there. You will falter, you will fail, you will be frustrated, but you are facing the fear more often – that’s where the transformation is happening. Between trying and losing, between trying and winning – all the transformation happens.
Once we get there – we stop growing. We again have to give ourselves the challenge of an impossible task – holding breathe, holding an asana for long, getting into an impossible asana – Then through this you realize its more about taking action in life, You don’t need to know the whole path, you only need to know the next step, but then more importantly…You need to DO the next step!!
Although people consider Yoga for the 60+ age group as they see them laughing in the parks and doing seemingly easy asanas. I also hear people say “Hey, the yoga session or package is little expensive, I can’t afford it..timewise, moneywise!
My question often yet unasked is : With all the awareness of what yoga can do for you – “Can you really afford to miss Yoga in life??”
Just 20 mins in a day! Thrice a week?
Just reflect for a minute!!
I took my water sipper and left for home, but hopefully I left a message for those ladies.