Many people in the West believe yoga is just moving your body through poses (asanas) while trying to get a workout in. However, if you look at the history of Yoga, it began with only a small list of poses that were used to achieve a meditative state. To me, focusing on fitness/trying to make your body look a certain way robs yoga of it’s greater purpose, which is to focus on how your body feels.
As I’ve been reading books on the eight limbs of yoga, the most interesting of all to me is dhyana, or meditation. I’ve recently been learning about more meditation techniques to incorporate at the beginning or end of my yoga classes, from body scanning to mantras, and even Yoga Nidra (a practice of drawing attention inwards to achieve a deeply relaxed, conscious state) I am excited to offer these eastern techniques to others.
These powerful states of non-doing can help you sleep better, reduce stress, and bring clarity to the mind. Being at rest allows you to watch your mind wander, letting go of thoughts and beliefs that do not serve your higher purpose. These examined moments can be enlightening. The body can be it’s own healer and knows what it needs to heal itself, if we allow it.