Everyone Can Do Yoga!
Jan 02, 2015 09:36AM
● By Fran Ubertini
If you are breathing, you can do Yoga. Classically, the definition of yoga is to direct the activities of the mind exclusively toward an object of focus without distraction, meditation. When we commonly think of yoga however, we think of the postures or the positions we put our body into, called asana. The great yogi, Krishnamacharya, who lived past 100, believed and taught that yoga should serve the needs of the individual, and that asana and yoga practice were personal and based on the stage of life one was in. Each practice was specifically designed with this in mind rather than a fixed form or sequence.
The main goal of asana (postures) is to keep the body fit, healthy and comfortable, thereby reducing the physical obstacles that are in the way of us sitting for meditation and in the way of us living life. It isn’t the only one however. Postures increase our overall flexibility, strength and spinal support, but don’t have to be extreme or contorted to achieve these results. The movements can closely resemble how our body naturally moves, with the key element being, they are all executed via a controlled breath called ujjayi. This connection between breath and movement not only increases our ability to breathe better, but it provides the focus that our mind needs to remain steady or fixed. This state of mind helps us to be less distracted, see more clearly and learn what it means to be truly comfortable and at peace. This can be accomplished by linking breath to a movement as simple as raising and lowering the arms, or as easy as laying down hugging one’s knees. The question of, “how can I do yoga?” becomes “how can something I do become yoga?” When we think in this way yoga becomes personal, doable and transformational.
A yoga practice that directs our attention via the body and breath will not only increase the health of the body, but also affect the mind and nervous system. The external layers of who we are (or who we think we are), often are peeled away revealing our inner layers, or as yoga teaches, the true nature of ourselves.
Yoga has stood the test of time and is here ready to serve you in whatever form that takes. From accomplishing something we couldn’t do before, to eliminating something we no longer need or want, or just seeing ourselves a little better… anyone and everyone can do yoga.
Fran Ubertini (ERYT 500) is Director of Yoga for Well-Being and a certified Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist holding diplomas from the Krishnamacharya Healing Foundation in India, the American Viniyoga Institute and the Yoga Vedanta Science and Art Center. She is available for workshops, yoga teacher trainings and private sessions. YogaForWellbeing.org. For more information, call 845-721-3938 or email [email protected].