January 23, 2017

New Year, New Pose



 A New Year brings many intentions that are not always followed up well upon. Some set goals that deviate too much from their everyday routine and through that, have set themselves up to fail already. But if someone eases into a new habit that they’d like to start, they are more likely to stick with it in the long run. A fairly easy new habit for someone to pick up is yoga. Yoga is easy to do in a few minutes a day and can be increased the more experienced one becomes. Since yoga has begun to be more widely accepted there are now many variations of it, including certain poses that can be practiced in the dreaded “office space”.

Yoga was said to have originated roughly 5,000 years ago but others say over 10,000 years ago. The first writings were said to have been written on palm leaves, which wasn’t the best choice for trying to keep a text preserved, but I digress. Yoga initially focused on understanding the surrounding world and later changed to understanding one’s self and self-enlightenment. It was not until later in yoga’s formation that poses and meditation became a part of its practices. The current yoga practiced today is said to be based on the Indian based Tantra yoga. Yoga has historically been thought of as a way of life, a practice that envelops every aspect of one’s life (thoughts on the outside world, eating habits, etc.).

A large part of yoga is the mindfulness of one’s own chakras.  There are 7 chakras that are our centers for “prana”, or life force. Chakras are thought to be the origination of various emotions as well states of consciousness. The channels that “prana” travels in our bodies are known as “nadis”, and many of these “nadis” intersect where certain chakras are located. For example, the Third Eye chakra is located at the middle of the forehead, while the Root chakra is located at the base of the spine. Problems in mental health, physical wellbeing, and emotional health arise from “prana” blockages that prevent our chakras from receiving enough energy. By performing certain yoga poses one can free their “nadis” of any blockage and allow their energy to flow freely throughout their body.

Yoga’s benefits are not just simply focused on the mind. Practicing yoga daily has shown to be a healthy release of stress. It also gives increased strength and flexibility through the various poses and if done before bed, will aid with a person’s sleep cycle. Additionally, as we age our proprioception sense decreases, which leads to worse coordination and loss of balance, and performing yoga daily can help improve and stop degeneration of this crucial sense.

Beginning new things and making them routine is not always easy, but small steps quickly become leaps and bounds when practiced.


‘Til next type – M.

Written by Michael L. Dour