The wisdom of yoga acknowledges our tools beyond caffeine, sugar, alcohol, technology and prescription drugs, to bring bodies and minds back into energetic balance. At the moment, our culture is not well steeped in these techniques. The Yogis, however, understood how to manage and control their responses to life’s circumstances without having to try to control life itself. For our purposes, we could say yoga is a time-tested science of conscious energy management. Awareness of the body and breath and consciously and compassionately responding to them, are non-negotiable necessities in achieving balance. Our job is to recognize that intelligently and systematically managing energy means we are not wasting energy on valueless action or thoughts that drain it, so when we truly need it we have it for all our lives are calling us to do.
The body is constantly asking for balance by talking to us through the language of the senses. Our bodies tell us when they are tired, when they are in need of nourishment, or when its time to move, change our environment or engage with life in a different way. As owners of these magnificent bodies, we often ignore or respond without respect to our body’s voice, i.e. when we feel tired, we caffeinate, when we feel hungry, we do nothing or throw down something of low nutrient value to quell the signal and then expect our bodies to perform brilliantly. When we respond in inadequate ways to the body’s signals, naturally they go out of energetic balance. The less consciously aware the choices we make, the further we move away from our sweet spot, creating a pattern that zaps our energy and derails even our best efforts.
The tools of yoga are simple: body, breath and mind. Physical postures help release stagnation and density, recalibrating all the systems of the body and somewhat, the mind as well. Breath practices powerfully affect the mind and recalibrate our thoughts. Disengaging from the thinking mind using quieting techniques and eventually, meditating, allows healthy “space” from the churning of the day. This helps transform mental and emotional states, allowing us to process feelings and release the heaviness of negative thinking. This is so important as all illnesses have an emotional component. Therefore, when your mind is cleared, you supercharge your capacity to heal, which will also protect you from disease.
Yoga is a powerful and multifaceted holistic discipline that sadly is not always seen as a suitable framework for modern life. Yet, it engenders the ability to uncover vibrant health, confidence, creativity, tenacity, inspiration, talent, healing, wholeness and the peace already within and waiting to be revealed. The benefits of practicing become apparent with time, as the discipline is so vastly rich with intelligence and timeless wisdom. It’s saying something, that five thousand years later, yoga’s applications are still valid and relevant. Indeed they are more necessary than ever if we are to successfully negotiate the tremendous temptations, stresses and challenges of modern life. That said it is comforting to know we always have the option and the power to open a new door to authentically, joyfully experiencing life and to fully thrive, with confidence, gratitude and wonder for all that is.