That’s a question that I got a lot from people in the last 6 years since I started doing yoga. At first, I couldn’t answer it properly and just threw a question back as an answer, “Why not?” But I couldn’t help but also think myself, why yoga? So that took me to a search of why should I do yoga.
Yoga as a mean of physical improvement
I started doing yoga thinking it as a sport. It helps me to tone up my body, makes me feel more supple and lighter. The competitive in me started to build ambition to try learning the crazy poses which definitely helped to tone me even more. Which in turn made me want to do it more because I can see results. I thought it balances out the other exercises I do such as cardio (running, swimming) and strength (bodyweight exercise, body pump). Mixing these exercises up will give you more benefit, reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.
Yoga as a mean of mental improvement
When I first started yoga 6 years ago, that was the time when I first moved to Singapore. I didn’t know a lot of friends in this little red dot back then so I thought I want to join some communities to make more friends. Yoga is one of those communities. I’ve been wanting to try yoga for so long but have never been so why not now. I realized after few sessions of yoga, I ended up not interacting much with other folks in the class. Which is not a bad thing for me either. I started to realize whenever I am done doing yoga practice, I feel much calmer. A controlled breath, a relaxed state of mind, a more rejuvenated body. And I like that sensation. I started making yoga as my ‘me’ time. I appreciate the 1 hour practice of yoga because in that 1 hour, I get to think of me, myself and I. Yoga practice allows me to be more body aware. It helps me to go inside and understand my body better. Realizing how relaxed I am when breathing while holding some poses in yoga sparked an interest in me in pranayama and eventually meditation. I don’t need to spend time to explain the benefits of these two since there are many articles have covered it.
Yoga as a mean of spiritual improvement
The more I did yoga, the more I was drawn to it. I started looking up online on what is yoga actually and learned doing the asanas, meditation and pranayama is only a fraction of yoga. There’s way more to it. The philosophy behind it, to me, was very interesting. I started to dig deeper and found yoga is more than those physical and mind activities. It’s actually a guide to how to live your life. All of these new understandings on the other things in the big picture of yoga just really opened my eyes and surprisingly made me drawn even more to it and for some reason grounded me. The understanding of thoughts as energy that can move even within your body and practicing to control that energy by doing asana, meditation, appropriate diet helped me to see a good transformation in my life.
I will not start donning a hippie yoga pants and growing my beard and hair long. I doubt I ever will. I am not sure whether one day I can put my legs around my neck or not. But I will still want to do yoga. Because it’s more than just asana. It’s more than being vegan and chanting mantra. It’s a holistic guide to live your life. So next time when someone asks me, “Why do you do yoga?”, the answer would be because that’s how I live my life. Or I will just give him this post’s URL. 🙂
Krisianto Gondohutomo – YTT200 – Sep 2017