How Often Should I Do Yoga?
Cars run on gas. Everybody knows what happens if you don't put gas in your car. When the gas light turns on and you think to yourself, “Oh I've got some miles left I’ll just take care of it tomorrow” and then tomorrow happens and you find yourself rushing around trying to get to the gas station and you show up and all the pumps are occupied. You don’t have enough gas to get to the next gas station. You have no choice but to wait - to sit and wait and think about how you should have gotten gas yesterday when you first thought about it.
I’ve learned that advice in life is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Often times we ask others for advice but it is our responsibility when we make a decision.
I always ask my significant other for his advice. He’s the most rational open minded understanding human there ever could be. His brilliance leaves me in awe regularly.
Sometimes I’ll ask for his advice and then I’ll spend a good amount of time trying to convince him how my way could work. After a while he’ll look at me and gently say “You’re telling me the way you want to do it so why not do it your way?” This always leaves me a bit stunned as I acknowledge how correct that statement is.
I’ve learned to take everything with a grain of salt when it comes to subjects outside of my expertise (unless it comes from my significant other in which case I listen to him because I can confidently say that he is always right).
When it comes to something as personal as my yoga practice I know that I must turn inwards and rely on my Self to tell me what I need; to tell me what works best for me.
I’ve always liked the expression, “You can't pour from an empty cup.” This means in order to show up fully you need to take care of yourself. For me, doing yoga is like filling up my car with gas - but I have to do it daily. If I don't do it first thing in the morning I won't do it for the rest of the day. I have to plan and prepare. I have to make sure that the time is made for my practice. I have to prioritize or else I can't show up as my full Self.
A western way of thinking about yoga is that yoga is just a physical movement (asana) and yes although that is part of yoga that is not all of it.
Yogapedia explains The Eight Limbs of Yoga
The Eight Limbs of Yoga include:
Yama: five universal, ethical and moral standards to live life by (nonviolence, truthfulness, non stealing, continence and non-covetousness)
Niyama: five spiritual and self-discipline observances (cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, study of scriptures and surrender to God)
Asana: physical yoga postures that help the body learn to focus and take care of the physical self, which is considered a temple of the spirit in yogic practice
Pranayama: breathing exercises which develop control of the breath and are thought to provide long life
Pratyahara: control over the senses through the practice of transcending the external world or stimuli, bringing focus inward
Dharana: concentration on inner awareness or on a single point by removing all other distractions
Dhyana: meditation or contemplation on the Divine, which includes an unbroken flow of concentration and quieting of the mind
Samadhi: union with the Divine through transcending the Self, this stage includes feelings of deep peace and ecstasy
Ayurveda walks hand in hand with yoga. Along with daily practice of yoga I have developed my own little daily self-care routine that is Ayurveda-based which I will be posting on here soon.
Take care of yourself,
Love & Light always,