Why practice Yoga? What brings us back to the mat?

Jul 17, 2019 | Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Yoga

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I get asked this simple question all the time. Why yoga? Yet, still I struggle to give a simple answer.

In part, I think because everyday I am discovering more and more reasons to practice, teach and share yoga. For me the answer is just so much more than most people want to hear. More intricate and elaborate, as it has touched every part of my life and had such a huge impact that to simplify seems an injustice.

So, if you want the short answer: for the love!

The Truth

We all come to the mat for different reasons. Relief from stress, back pain, poor posture or maybe even just to stretch after a long run.

Yes, yoga can relieve stress and pain, increase mobility and flexibility while improving sleep and brain function. (Well, that’s an entire blog in itself: the physical benefits of yoga – coming soon to a screen near you!)

But, for me it’s the subtle practice that bring me back to the mat. I practice and share yoga for the love of the subtle practices we carry off the mat into our daily lives. The practices that are accessible to everyone. As a teacher told me “if you can breathe you can practice yoga”.

What do I mean by subtle practice?

When we think of yoga, most often it’s of the incredibly flexible yogis that fill our Instagram feeds. We think of the physical postures or Asanas. However, I am referring to the yoga philosophy that encourages us to question our conditioning. To practice:

Self-discovery – the newfound relationship with the body and true self. Yoga has been such a journey and it is a joy to empower my student to learn more about themselves and their own body.

Connection – a basic a human need. In order to connect with others, we first need to reconnect with ourselves. Accept ourselves and have the courage to be vulnerable in sharing our authentic selves with others.

Holding Space – Everybody needs time and space to reconnect with themselves and re-centre. I love fostering an environment where people feel safe to do just that.

Awareness – the awareness to be present, to observe your thinking mind, and start to shift your perspective. This practice of awareness has been a catalyst for so much positive change. Changing the way, I see and interact with the world. Breaking old habits, patterns and beliefs.

These broad stokes are merely my interpretations, barely even scratching at the surface. No matter the reason you first came to the mat: it’s an endless list of impactfull benefits that keep you coming back.

To develop a deeper understanding join an Introduction to Yoga Philosophy Workshop. Saturday 20 July | 2.00pm to 4.00pm | £25 with Amanda Dufour.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” The Bhagavad Gita

I could not agree more! It is a personal journey and the practice often changes and evolves. To explore what is drawing you to the mat and how we can help find the practice that best serves you and your needs get in touch with the wonderful team at Embody Wellness..

Renée is a yoga instructor with a passion for making the practice of yoga accessible, enjoyable and integral part of more lives. Renée first came to the mat as an excuse to get away from her desk and out of the office, an escape from the corporate culture of desk lunch and late nights. It didn’t take long for her practice to blossom and shift from an excuse to an exploration; of her own body and her sense of self. Having witnessed first-hand the positive impact yoga has on her own mental and physical wellbeing as well as her connection with those around her, she could not ignore the call to share this gift on and off the mat. For more about Renée follow her on Instagram @yogatorestore or via www.yogatorestore.com