In the late 70’s I heard a phrase, which still accompanies me today: “all reasons are good to do yoga”.
Of course, I am suspicious and interested in this topic, I have been a yoga practitioner for over thirty years.
But that does not invalidate my presumption to reflect on the scope of this sentence, from an impartial point of view, I do not say neutral, as I have serious reservations about anyone who presents himself as neutral.
Being neutral always seems to me to be a way of pretending that we are good people, of shrouding our point of view in gray smoke, of making people believe that everything around us does not concern us, does not affect us.
I almost dared to say that being neutral is cowardice cloaked in good intentions, a way of waiting cunningly to make the leap into the comfort zone.
But I have to confess that inflamed and untimely positions terrify me even more, they are attitudes that travel with the turn of the wind, with the turmoil of unresolved emotions inside the head.
That’s why the term exempt pleases me more, maybe it’s just a matter of personal taste.
This phrase “All reasons are good for doing yoga” should not be confused with the silly and childish theories so fashionable that yoga is a panacea for all ills.
“All reasons are good to do yoga” cannot be translated as “yoga is for everyone”. In reality, it is not. Yoga is aimed at those who seek it out, regardless of their motivations.
Wanting yoga to enter schools, departments, companies… is puerile and frightening.
It looks like an evangelical indoctrination campaign, with the banner that yoga makes us better people and will transform the world. Yoga does not make us better or worse people, we are the ones who decide to transform our lives, and yoga can be a tool to use.
And the world is what we choose to make of it.
Some good reasons to practice yoga:
- Our lifestyle and responsibilities are a huge source of pressure and stress, and the practice of yoga allows for the right level of balance to bring the boat to fruition.
- We want to improve our physical condition and have a strong and flexible body.
- Because it makes it easier for us to control anxiety and improve our self-confidence.
- We’ve heard that the yoga scene balances the endocrine system, and that makes us slim.
- Because it’s trendy and all the pros do yoga, great, let’s move on to practice, something will happen.
- We want to practice because there are many cute girls/kids, forward without fear.
- Because men/women who practice yoga are more sensitive, in a good mood, know how to laugh and are in good shape.
- Because we have a natural empathy with yoga, and we feel “super cool” with the practice.
- We found that in yoga there is always a good wave and practitioners seem happy and resolved people.
In conclusion, all the reasons that can be listed for starting to practice are valid, there are no more noble or less noble reasons to start practising yoga.
The fact that we are motivated to do yoga is a sign that, consciously or unconsciously, we have made the decision to make time for ourselves, we aspire to take care of our own well-being.
This first step is the most important in the whole path that lies ahead.
It may be that for a few years our connection with yoga begins and ends as soon as we leave the “sticky-mat”, and what we hear and learn in class is immediately forgotten when we leave the “sticky-mat”.
The advantage is that in the next class everything seems new, but, in fact, without being aware of it, our body and mind assimilate the practice and integrate its intelligence.
It is the teacher who has to work extra hard and has the inexhaustible patience to, with a smile, always remind this student of the same things, but the long-term results are worth it.
Perhaps at first we have to face the reality of our body being stiff and heavy, making the simplest practice a tremendous challenge.
In this case, our persistence will be put to the test, but we guarantee that a regular and methodical practice, combined with the awareness that our limits are circumstantial, made to be exceeded, will definitely transform how we understand our mind, body and emotions.
It is possible that our head is always in a turmoil, like a washing machine in high centrifugation, and we are almost always out of rhythm, and we have the impression that we are the clear example of the song “you are on the moon”.
With continuous practice of Ujjayi and the integration of movements with conscious breathing, this dispersion is transformed into creativity and inner well-being.
We can also look into yoga for its spiritual development proposal, and to be dedicated and methodical practitioners, which is great, but no more or less noble than any other motivation.
The practice of yoga leads the student in a process of gradual and continuous transformation, taking into account that each practitioner has their own pace, sensitivity, and ability to process information.
Looking and seeing, listening and understanding are not the same thing, as it is also different to understand, process and integrate.
Attending yoga classes is also very different from stretching out the “sticky-mat” at home.
All steps are necessary and important for our journey.
The constituent elements of each practitioner, the Doshas — Vata, Pitta and Kapha, indicate their natural aptitude for using certain types of yoga techniques, as well as the way to organize and sequence their practice.
Optimal practice for a Vata, will be a waste of time for a Kapha, while being fantastic for a Pitta, it totally unbalances a Kapha.
While all reasons are good for practising yoga, not all approaches to yoga practice work for everyone.
For this reason, Vatas are more attracted to one type of practice, Kapha and Pitta to others.
One of the incredible things about yoga is the fact that there is always a practice that allows each practitioner to find their balance and successfully follow their inner journey.
Yoga is a practical philosophy of life, widely flexible and versatile to offer an attractive answer to anyone who seeks it.
Generally, yoga movements do not have this versatility, they have a menu to offer, and not everyone finds the special dessert there for their needs.
Our relationship with yoga is always unique, only we can experience it, and our answers are of no use to anyone else.
Opening the heart to inner transformation and stretching the “sticky-mat” in the silence of the sunrise, is the beginning of a wonderful adventure in our life.