The healing benefit of the physical practice of yoga is as easy to understand as the benefit of brushing your teeth every day.
When you use your body on a daily basis things like plaque accumulate along the interior spaces of the body. If you never clean out this store of toxins and impurities, then the body will begin to decay much like teeth that never have the plaque removed.
The yoga postures cleanse the body from within by going into the darkest corners of the body with twists, bends, folds and breath to literally burn through stuck material. Without the constant cleansing yoga practice provides the internal workings of the body’s organ and neruomuscular systems would grow sluggish. But with the practice of yoga the body is able to maintain a healthy level of pliability throughout life.
The Ashtanga Yoga method in particular leaves no cell in the body untouched and systematically seeks to bring strength and flexibility to every molecule inside the body.
On an emotional and psychological level the yoga postures increase conscious awareness of every part of the body. Along with the pure physical benefit associated with developing heightened awareness of the body, there are numerous mental and emotional benefits that accrue as well.
When you delve deeply into sleeping areas of the body you discover that the body itself is a reservoir of old memories, emotions and habit patterns. The samskaras, or old habit patterns of the body and mind, take root in the body and are encased in postural patterns of tightness, stiffness and pain. When yoga postures force you to go directly into the source of the old habit pattern and face the fear, sadness, anger or other traumatic emotions the yoga postures are working the deepest therapy possible.
Yoga trains the mind to stay in places of difficulty instead of running away and developing protective measures.
In yoga there is no room for defense mechanisms. In fact the yoga postures are designed to strip away every protective layer that you may have accumulated in order to reveal the inner purity at the heart of your being.
If you are interested in starting yoga, but do not have access to a teacher check out this new Three Part Beginner’s Series in Ashtanga Yoga available now on Udemy.
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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