What would you be prepared to pay to have a healthier, fitter, stronger and stress-resistant body? What price would you be prepared to pay to enjoy these remarkable benefits?
We might even ask ‘What’s the real price for a better quality of life?’
And these are good questions because people seem to be more than willing to pay a small fortune for cosmetic surgery, for expensive drugs to help them cope with life’s vicissitudes and for counselling when things go wrong. But what if there were a better way to achieve all of these worthy aims? The answer might surprise you because the solution can be found in the ancient practices and teachings of Yoga. Surprised? Well, let’s accept that Yoga is far more than a gentle form of stretching and exercising the body. The main aim of the system is to integrate all the different parts that make up the human entity and bring them into a state of sustained harmony. That means bringing the mind and body into a state of natural balance, correcting the posture, learning to breathe, calming the mind and mastering our emotions. Sounds like a tall order but that’s why Yoga is offered as a lifetime pursuit. The more you practise the methods, the more you gain. And the more you gain, the more you realise you can benefit from further practice. It’s a beautifully virtuous cycle and the benefits can transform your life. Certain postures, for example, certainly support a calmer state of mind and this can lead in turn to much greater resistance to stress.
But we all have to start at the beginning and that usually means accepting the physical limitations that mark the beginning of our practice. Gradually, with daily repetition of the basics, with patience and persistence, the rewards reveal themselves. We develop greater flexibility. A lot of the old aches and pains disappear. We feel lighter, more mobile. Our energy levels receive a very welcome boost. We sleep better. We digest our food more efficiently. The world starts to look a little different as you take better control of your fears and your over-active stress response. Your posture begins to change. You look younger, more energised, more at peace with yourself and the world around you.
And what price would you pay for these wonderful gifts? Just a few minutes a day. That’s all. As you begin to feel the benefits, you’ll naturally want to do more and this is a normal part of the evolutionary pathway of Yoga. In a short time, you move from practising Yoga as a pastime to living Yoga as a natural extension of your everyday life. And it feels wonderful.
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