March 8, 2015

This Daily Practice is as Easy (& Important) as Brushing our Teeth.

 yoga hands mudra


There are two statements against doing yoga, especially a daily practice, that are commonly heard:

It’s too expensive.

I don’t have the time.

And then there’s a third that is just as common, but maybe not expressed verbally.

I don’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of perfect bodies in tight clothing doing moves that I’ll never be able to do.

But the truth is…all three of those statements are nothing more than illusions.

Yoga doesn’t have to be expensive.

It doesn’t have to require a lot of time.

And it most definitely isn’t about being a perfect size two and being able to put your feet behind your head. Thank goodness!

Western culture has created a few bubbles of illusion around the concept of doing yoga that desire to be popped.

The first illusion is that you have to go to a studio to do yoga.

In all actuality, one of the most beautiful aspects of yoga is that it can be done anywhere and everywhere. Historically, yoga was an activity that was done mainly outside, and only to get ready for meditation.

It is incredibly unfortunate that many people pass up a highly beneficial healing modality because they feel that a studio is the only place they can get their yoga on.

In essence then, a $150 membership is blocking them from incorporating an amazing tool for health.

Whether it is because of the cost of joining a studio, fitting a busy life into the times of a class, or not feeling comfortable around other people (it is nice to be alone when a little fart sneaks by), don’t let these excuses keep you from connecting with your healthiest, most vibrant you.

The second bubble of illusion that Western culture decided to attach to yoga is that it has to be done according to a studio’s schedule.

But the unfortunate aspect of life in Western culture is that we are all incredibly busy. Most of us have way too much on our plate. It’s hard enough trying to stick to a personal schedule that includes picking up the kids from school, cleaning the house and cooking dinner, too. Add going to an hour or hour and a half class, and it is understandable that so many people find difficulty in fitting a yoga class into their already tight schedule…especially on a daily basis.

But if that entire mindset is changed, and we realize that studios are a magnificent place to learn the alignment that is mandatory for staying healthy, and to connect with others that feel the love of yoga, then things change considerably.

It is vital that as a culture we come to understand that studios are not the end all. If we shift how we look at it, all of a sudden missing a studio class isn’t a big deal. We understand that doing twenty minutes at home is just as beneficial.

This helps take a load off.

In an instant, that thought of having to go to a class that is being squished in between making enchiladas and picking up the kids from soccer practice isn’t so important.

Instead, going to a yoga class becomes about going to your favorite teacher so that you can learn moves and structure to bring home with you, when it fits into your schedule.

The home practice becomes where the dance is practiced. Moves and alignment, when used in a daily manner at home, start to create amazing positivity because the body is being given a gift everyday that literally creates healing and vibrant health from the inside out.

The third illusion..that everyone in yoga classes is super limber, skinny and in great shape is definitely not true.

One of the absolute beautiful aspects of yoga is that everyone can do it, even people that are bound to a wheel chair.

How is that possible?

Because yoga is all about your connection with a loving, deep, nurturing breath. Yoga is not about the crazy postures…that is a lie that we have told ourselves.

Yoga, in fact, was nothing but sitting in the beginning.

That was the only asana.

Really, though, yoga can be the equivalent of brushing our teeth. Every day we brush our teeth to get rid of that yucky fuzz that loves to attach itself to our white enamel.

The same goes with yoga.

With time and life, fuzz begins to grow within the nooks and crannies of our bodies. As we age the fuzz builds up, causing disease, illness and emotional challenges.

Yoga, through connecting a deep, loving breath with the movement is literally able to heal from the inside out, healing everything from past hurts and traumas to present time health challenges.

The breath is the absolute importance with yoga.

The game of increasingly harder poses comes into play, when and if, you are able to keep that loving, nurturing, long breath that envelopes and kisses all parts of the lungs.

When we take the time to engage the entire capacity of the lungs we all of a sudden are able to take complete and total responsibility for our health. The lungs, when fully engaged, can help shift healing and emotional challenges immensely for the better.

So, the next time that voice in your head says that yoga is a waste of time, know that taking the responsibility (response + ability = responsibility) for your own health is better to do now than later.

Your body deserves that twenty minutes of “brushing” the fuzz off, just as your teeth deserve a daily cleaning.

Here’s to you and your vibrant, healthiest self!





Oh, the Places you’ll Go− When you Practice Yoga.


Author: Shanie Matthews

Editor: Bria Luu / Editor: Renee Picard 

Photo: elidr/Flickr 

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Shanie Matthews