Depression continues to increase as does suicides. Violent crimes are on a rise as more and more people turn to drugs and alcohol to ease their anxiety and pain. As I watch all of this unfold, I say to myself, “The world needs more yoga!” For those who are Christians, this is not outside of our faith but in alignment with it because we cannot be calm in spirit if we first do not stop, breathe, and meditate.
Some accounts say the Bible uses the word meditate about 23 times, giving us a variety of things to think on from God’s goodness to His laws and commands. The bottom line is we could all benefit from meditation, but how do we actually slow down to do it? That’s where yoga comes in.
I’m a fitness instructor first who then learned how to teach Hatha Yoga, the most gentle of the genres of yoga. As I just read in my CEU course from AFAA, “Anyone who practices yoga is a yogi, but only some will be guru’s.” Yoga’s original intent remains the same today: to help one stretch and become comfortable enough to practice the disciple of meditation. And yes, keeping your mind clear and focused on the present moment takes work! Have you ever tried it? Thoughts of what you should be doing creep in, or reminders of what you forgot nag at you.
Breathing is the key! We slow it down by concentrating on going deep into our lungs and drawing the breath completely in. We fill the lungs up and then press all the air out. This deep breathing doesn’t come natural to any of us as normal breathing is shallow and fast, especially if you are stressed.
Besides keeping your lungs strong, yoga breathing brings healthy oxygen to your entire body. Your mind will be clearer, and your energy more balanced. As you move through asanas (positions) to strengthen and stabilize your body, you reduce pain. With less pain, you sleep better, and with quality rest, you have the ability to respond to life instead of react to it.
I see people living on the edge, one mishap away from a complete and utter meltdown. I cannot stress enough the importance of slowing down our breathing, clearing our mind, and meditating on Godly things. Anxiety goes away, and a more positive outlook takes its place. You will never regret carving out some time on a regular basis to sit, breathe, and meditate.
The best yoga classes involve deep stretching that allows for more flexibility, strength-building asanas, and ways to increase your balance…all of which improve the quality of your life. Now you know why I love it so much. I have a DVD called Yoga with Lorraine that offers two programs. I encourage you to give it a try! My version of Yoga is: Yoking Ourselves with God Always, and it will help you mind, body, and spirit. The best in me honors the best in you!