The PMS (Physical, Mental and Spiritual of Yoga)

My impression of Yoga before attending this teacher training was that all Yoga is, is an advanced form of stretching. Which it is, and it is just what I need after many years of sitting around in the office. My body is physically tight all over, from head to toe.

Powered by Giphy

Little did I know that the yoga poses, also known as Asanas, are just the physical aspect or one of the Eight limbs of Yoga. And the objective of a yoga practice is to harmonize the body and the mind – not just for a pretty IG shot.

The physical benefits of practicing Yoga are obvious: tension/pain relief, improved posture, increased strength (oh yes, you don’t need to pump heavy weights in a gym to build strength. Just try holding chaturanga or one of those fancy arm balancing moves), and better balance and flexibility. 

The mental benefits are something that I did not quite expect. Yoga practice, as with other physical exercises, helps with reducing cortisol (the body’s stress hormone). It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. But what I find even more powerful, is the yoga practice of breathing/pranayama, meditation/dhyana and yoga nidra. It really calms the mind and improves mindfulness. Which I think is something that (almost) everyone needs living in the hustle and bustle of today’s world. To sit still and focus on nothing but your breath is very very very challenging. Or at least for me, I find this a lot harder to do than practicing the asanas. My mind wanders all over… 

Powered by Giphy

As for the spiritual aspects, I have never considered myself as someone spiritual or religious, but I do think that the practice of the other limbs of Yoga such as Yama, Niyama and Pratyahara makes one a better, healthier and happier individual. All together, the Eight Limbs basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. 

I’m trying, and hopefully I am on my path towards Samadhi… 

Powered by Giphy