Yoga seems to be one of those practices/exercises that naturally combines physical, mental and spiritual wellness. I think this is why I love yoga. Every time I practice, I find that my body, mind and soul are all better for it. Also, the whole mind-body-soul connection MAKES SO MUCH SENSE because everything is connected.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe. ~ John Muir
I went to one of the best yoga classes recently at Yasodhara Yoga in Spokane. I had never been there before. This class really emphasized the mental wellness aspect of yoga practice. It was two hours of hatha yoga, which included asana (postures) along with journaling throughout the session to promote mindfulness and awareness. The instructor explained that the word hatha is made up of two Sanskrit words, “ha” (meaning “the sun”) and “tha” (meaning “the moon”). The sun is symbolic for heat, light, day and the moon is symbolic for cold, dark, night, so, they are opposites. Hatha yoga uses the concept of opposites to create balance. For example, stillness is balanced by movement, updogs are balanced by downdogs, work is balanced by relaxation, breathing in is balanced by breathing out. We need opposites to be balanced.
I got to thinking about this concept applied to life in general. Whether or not we realize it, balance is so important to living a good life. I think that whenever we aren’t feeling so well physically, mentally, relationally, spiritually, environmentally or financially perhaps it is because we are out of balance somehow. Maybe we have spent too much time with others and haven’t balanced this out with enough time in solitude, or vice-versa. Perhaps we haven’t spent enough time outdoors to balance out the time we spend indoors. Maybe we’ve been working too hard and haven’t balanced this with enough rest, or vice-versa. Have we been receiving and not giving? Giving and not receiving? Spending but not saving? Saving but not spending? Thinking but not feeling? Feeling but not thinking? You get the idea. Wellness comes through balancing the opposites.
My hope is that we seek to be intentional about keeping balance. When things don’t feel right, let’s take some time to identify where we are off-balance and then take opposite steps to bring ourselves back into balance.
Namaste, God Bless, and thank you to Yasodhara Yoga for the wonderful practice. 🙂 🙏