yoga for the non believers

YOGA.

i have been getting a lot of weird and funny stares when i tell people i go for yoga classes. To many, yoga is like a fitness routine for girls who are flexible and nothing beneficial comes out of it.

and because i get a lot of questions when i tell people i have been practicing yoga for quite some time, here’s a FAQ post where i will try and correct all the myths behind practicing yoga. Bare in mind these are my opinions and i am no yoga instructor(yet), just a common practitioner, believing in the powers of yoga based on my own personal experience 🙂

What led you to start doing yoga?

It was thanks to a gym membership years back that i actually tried on a yoga class and got hooked from the first class itself. I never thought yoga was hard or anything, i just felt that it would be interesting to just “try” it and from the first class itself, it made me want to keep going for classes for as long as i can.

Do you need to be a physically active person to do yoga?

No. When I think “physically active,” I think of cardio and muscle work, and that’s not really part of yoga. Anyone can do yoga, kids, men, women, preggers, seniors, basically EVERYONE. Yoga is basically a series of stretches that you hold and relax in to, and you watch your breathing and do a little meditation. It’s not rocket science. The more you do it, the more used to the postures you get. An added bonus is that if you’re not a gym bunny, yoga will help your muscle tone. If you’re an absolute beginner and have doubts, start slow with a beginner class and don’t jump right into an intermediate or advance class.

What benefits have you received from yoga?

WHERE DO I BEGIN??? hhahaha..

let’s see. emotionally, it has turned me into someone who is more calm when im facing any stressful situations. Basically all the breathing techniques have become something so natural to me that sometimes i dont even realize that i’m practicing yoga when im doing basic things like driving, working, working out or even eating. I practice a lot of logic out of the basics of yoga in my everyday lifestyle and i must say… i enjoy all the positivity that yoga have helped me achieve and understand thus far.

physically, i become stronger each day and sometimes, it’s not about how far or how much you can bend or flex, it’s about the confidence in performing a certain posture that helps me overcome my fear and doubts of my own body over time.

mentally… it helps me control my own mind, instead of my mind controlling myself. this, i believe, is the power of yoga. 🙂

i could really write a whole page on this, but seriously, i would recommend you to try out a class and experience it yourself. 🙂

Does yoga help you when you’re feeling stress?

Definitely. i have made it a must that i have to at least attend one class in a week just to de-stress from all the negativity and stress from work place, and everywhere else. Yoga balances up my week and just keeps me in a happy and relaxed loving and peaceful mood 🙂

Has yoga changed your approach to your own health care?

Yes! As you can see, i have begin to welcome vegetarianism in my life. 🙂 hehe. I’m not saying that everyone else who practices yoga should be one, as vegetarianism is a choice i make and it doesn’t have to be yours. 🙂 Somehow i have always been a health freak since young and practicing yoga actually makes me drift towards taking care of my own health, even when my environment is promoting otherwise. i do enjoy guilty indulgences once in a while but yeah, i would say yoga have changed my approach in my lifestyle and my own health care in a totally diff level. 🙂

What’s your favorite part of each class?

The end of the class – meditation. Quoting my instructor Kok, meditation is actually the core of yoga and not all the asanas. You can perform all the asanas in the world but if your mind is not calmed, relaxed, focused, and balanced, then there really isn’t much point in practicing yoga. Meditation have nothing to do with religion. It is just you, closing your eyes, giving time to yourself, clearing your mind, focusing on your breathing and controlling your mind to control your body. Simple, yet not anyone can sit down for a good 5 minutes and not have a single thought running through your busy mind. no? 🙂

Have you noticed any changes in yourself since you started yoga?

Yoga have changed my perception on competition. Being competitive all my life, yoga have changed me into someone who is rather more humble, more willing to share than to compete, and definitely i have erased the word competition in my vocabulary. yoga have made me realize that everyone is different and special in our own ways especially our bodies and capabilities. Everyone is different have their different strength and weaknesses. no one is perfect and yoga is a never-ending knowledge by itself, just like  growing up and life is. 🙂

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Now if you’ve always wanted to try on yoga and have no place to start, here’s where i would recommend you to go.

Cocoon Yoga is a small little studio located at Solaris Mont Kiara and they’re having an open day on the 16th and 18th January which is This Sunday and next Tuesday 🙂 Do go and try out the personalized and custom classes and see and experience for yourself what yoga can do for you and the better of yourself.

Bring yourself, your kids, your boys and even your parents! Here’s a studio for everyone and especially for you if you’ve always wanted to know how it feels like. Head on HERE for more info or just drop by Cocoon Yoga Studio to try out a class. 🙂

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now since were talking about yoga , here’s my yoga resolutions for 2011.

Basically its the same with 2010 but i want to improve more for 2011 🙂

Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I & II

Achievable when strong, not achievable after 1 hour of asanas. :/ conclusion.. i am so weak. Hopefully i can ace this pose this year with more grace and arms strength! 🙂

Adho Mukha Vrksasana (or the handstand)

This will be my target and favorite pose for 2011. I did this in class yesterday and even it was still a lousy attempt, i can feel that my arms are way stronger than before (or in 2010). i can start to hold the posture longer and i begin to feel stronger on my abs and arms. For 2011, i would step up on my practices and aim to do the handstand gracefully and strong. 🙂 om shanti, i believe it’s achievable.

Vrschikasana (or scorpion)

And here is my favorite. Although i can do this now, sometimes i still need the instructor to help on this as my arms can be quite weak at times. for 2011, i hope to perfect my scorpion pose and become stronger in my abs and arms to hold the posture longer and more gracefully. 🙂

Mayurasana (Peacock pose)

Last but not least, an addition to my 2010 resolution. Mayurasana > Pincha mayurasana. 🙂 Hopefully i can master this gracefully fo 2011 and strengthen my arms for this posture. Still a posture that i need to depend on the instructor at times but yea… practice makes perfect 🙂

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And with this, i wish everyone out there, yogi or not, have a great day ahead of you.

Namaste.

-J