Breathe. Stretch. Relax. In the practice of yoga, heart, body and mind come together in a union with the divine. The deeper connection is not just with the inner self, the inner spirit. It’s with like-minded community.
The moment I step into a yoga class, my heart opens. I immediately feel the difference in my energy as the stress leaves my body and my heart rate goes down. Evidently, I’m not alone. Nearly nine percent of American adults are practicing some form of hatha yoga. The practice is spreading wide and taking us all a little deeper in the process.
Hatha, which is a combination of the Sanskrit words sun and moon representing the masculine (right) and feminine (moon) energies of the body and Yoga from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning to join, to yoke is a 5,000 year old Indian tradition to help bring peace to the mind and prepare the body for the deeper spiritual practices of meditation.
Studies show a regular yoga regimen burns fat, reduces stress, extends flexibility, increases awareness and helps with depression. It is regularly performed and recommended by athletes, physicians, rock stars, and celebrities, including Dr. Oz, who has a beginner YouTube workout, and Sting, whose now over 60, credits yoga with helping him improve physically and bringing much needed peace and sanity into his hectic touring life.
Hatha Yoga is bridge to self compassion and self compassion can dramatically increase your chances of making positive changes in your life. Whether it’s letting go of bad habits or committing to healthier ways of being in the world, kindness to and patience with yourself may be your greatest source of strength.
Like minded seekers practicing together in yoga centers are discovering it’s not only better for their own bodies, it’s better for each other and the planet. Collectively, they are eating better. Living greener. Exploring healing modalities. And maybe more importantly embracing the fullness of the Sanskrit greeting namaste – connecting to the light within ourselves and each other – and knowing we are all made from one divine consciousness.
Together we can be the change we want to see in the world.