A scientific approach to our yoga practice

I know I post a lot of articles on this blog, but being a resource for yoga stuff is one of the things this blog is all about! 

That being said, this article is AWESOME. Have you ever wondered what it is about yoga that makes us so connected to our bodies, revives our minds and really helps so many aspects of our physical health and mental health? 

Please read, and thanks to author Nina Mel for sharing this article on Elephant Journal!


Yoginis and their tattoos

“Yoga and tattoos are both ancient forms of spiritual expression.” – Sara Lovelace

This article is a long one, but totally worth the read. Sara Lovelace writes this article with the purpose of looking at the revolutionary culture of yoga, and who is practicing nowadays (which includes a huge influx of women into the practice). Women today are empowered, and we now dominate the yoga culture as one united body of femininity. It’s quite beautiful, no?

8 Reasons Why I Don’t Have Time for Yoga, & why I still practice

Photo from the article "8 Reasons Why I Don't Have Time for Yoga"

Photo source: Alli Akard

8 Reasons Why I Don’t Have Time for Yoga

Remember 7th Heaven, the overly dramatic but oh-so-addicting TV show from the late ’90s into the early ’00s? One of the older girls gave a sermon one time titled: “Where did our Sundays go?” The whole point of her sermon was that Sundays used to be a day people set aside to worship, relax, rest and get ready for the new week. But now, Sunday is the day to catch up, on laundry, on sleep, on household chores. It’s a day for BBQs, drinking beer and watching football, and even shopping. So the reality is, where did our Sundays go? Where did that day go that we all used to take time and reflect? When do we as people take time to relax and, you know, actually be real people instead of workaholic machines?
8 Reasons Why I Don’t Have Time for Yoga kind of reminds me of that (I promise you’ll get it once you read the article).

[Spoiler alert: the 8 reasons have to do with the 8 limbs of yoga.]

In my practice this past Tuesday, Rachel, my teacher, had us lay in savasana (I know, you’re probably thinking ‘wait, at the beginning?!’) and find our breath. “It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or experienced at this, breathing deeply… is yoga,” she said. I found this really inspiring for some reason. Alli, author of 8 Reasons Why I Don’t Have Time for Yoga, gives us all the reasons why she doesn’t have time for yoga: kids, allergies, always being busy, having her attention pulled in 10 different directions, a lack of sleep on a good day, etc. However, she reminds the readers after all of her reasons why she does yoga: it’s a journey.
Alli writes, “but the reality is that yoga is not something I can master overnight or at any particular stage in my life; it is an ongoing journey that may not even be completed in this lifetime.”
Even if it’s 20 minutes of deep breathing, you are working on yourself. That’s a beautiful thought, right? As human beings, we are all evolving with each day. And as yogis, we are also always evolving. It took me almost a year to do any kind of a decent forward fold. Two weeks ago, I mastered crow pose. And Tuesday I did my first handstand (yay!!). But some days, all we can do is 5 minutes of a sun salutation. But those five minutes are everything. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it can be practiced virtually anywhere, at any time, and it is always shaping and evolving with the yogi. Tuesday night was the first time I got to practice in over a week because of my schedule. I work two jobs on top of my classes, and once the evenings hit and I finally get home, I just don’t have the energy to practice. So Tuesday, I carted my mat around with me to work, then to class, then finally to an hour-long practice filled with core strengthening poses and vinyasas. And although by the time I got to my practice I just wanted to curl up and sleep, that hour was so rejuvenating that I left and came home to do some much needed housework. No matter how long my practice is, I always leave better than when I came in.

And that’s the point of yoga: to spend time being in connection with oneself and ultimately, bettering oneself. At least, that’s just the humble opinion of a young, still wide-eyed yogi.

So, if you don’t have time to read the article (oh crap, you gotta run out and do the five things on your list you didn’t get to do yesterday!) Here’s my favorite passage:

“But the reality is that yoga is not something I can master overnight or at any particular stage in my life; it is an ongoing journey that may not even be completed in this lifetime.

If I wasn’t living the path of yoga every day, I would be completely lost in the thick of all the chaos. Having this methodology to focus on helps me be a overall a better human being. When I do feel out of control or lost and scared, there is a place I can refer to and find some peace.”

Namaste, and may you find your peace this coming week.