The Grace of Being a Whole Person
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Exercise takes many forms in terms of type, intensity and involvement. When you are first starting out with exercising to improve your health you can expect there will be more challenges as your body gets used to moving. These challenges can seem insurmountable and painful but they can also come with a sense of accomplishment and sign of progress.
Regardless of exercise you choose however, we can all benefit from basic stretches that are performed regularity. Stretching is like the reward your body appreciates after repetitive exercise or intense work outs. It is like introducing air and space to the deep corners of your joints and muscles so they can expand and relax.
The other benefit of stretching is what it does to your mind and heart. Aligning your body’s movement to be in sync with your thoughts and emotions is a freeing experience and one that can greatly influence your health physically and mentally. So much of our physical health is actually derived from our mental well-being and emotional balance that to ignore these and just focus on our physical form defeats the ultimate purpose of what it means to get and stay healthy.
Yoga Means to Stretch
The basic premise of yoga is to stretch. There are many frameworks of yoga that include movement with breath and perhaps even chants but the ultimate goal is to stretch your body, focus on your balance, test your strength and improve your alignment between heart, mind and body.
In yoga the exercise itself is more mental than physical. The physical aspect of getting into different poises and aligning your breath to the movement takes physical strength but it also takes mind support. We can’t be thinking of our to-do list and holding a graceful tree poise for instance.
The practice of yoga is calming to our mind while loving to our body. We can do a light yoga to focus more on calming and centering in our minds or we can do a more intense practice to focus on strength building and balance in our body. Both help us build up the core strength we need to extend our capabilities to other areas of our life. We feel calmer and confident to deal with difficult situations. We are clear minded to see a different path we didn’t previously. Our body is refreshed and relaxed for taking on a physical challenge or being rewarded from completing one. Our hearts are full of self-love and focus on what we need in our lives.
Getting into the state where we feel this refreshing exhilaration while being calm and collected is an incredible result of a regular yoga practice. With its many adaptions it is ideal for everyone of any skill level.
I enjoy a good yoga class that is a mix of the regular yogis, those just starting out and those that are casual about it. It feels good to wa