I totally believe, after 20 years of practicing, that Yoga gives you mental and emotional strength first which then translates into a healthy strong body and not the other way round. An unhealthy mind leads to an unhealthy body eventually. It’s that simple.
Many people focus on the aesthetic qualities of their bodies but their minds are left unobserved and very distracted. I was one of those people until I discovered Yoga.
The last time I went to the gym was only last year. I was on a bike in the cardio area watching a TV showing the news, with music blaring out. I wondered that while my body was working out, my mind was deeply engrossed in the news and so not present with what my body was up to. Is that because many of us feel we need to get fit but don’t actually like doing it so we occupy our minds with other things? And how often is your mind truly focused on what your body is doing while you are working out? Usually we are thought ridden. It felt very disconnected to me.
Now all you gym bunnies out there, big respect! Not knocking it at all. I have done heaps of gymming in my time and it has great benefits. BUT, in my experience, TRUE integrated exercise, especially as we age, is where your mind is ‘trained’ to stay present with your body. Yoga does that for me.
At nearly 48 I can honestly say that I am in the best shape emotionally, physically and mentally and that, in large part, is to do with Yoga. I don't take drugs for anything and I have no permanent aches and pains.
I am not ripped by any means and defo don’t have a six pack, but that doesn't guarantee health in my opinion. But when I hit my mat, I come home to myself. My mind and body work together with my breathing and everything just falls back into flow and ease. The BEST stress reliever ever!
Yoga will give you an enormous playground to start to train and eventually master your mind, mainly through breath and focused practise. BOY OH BOY your body will thank you for it!