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How to Progress Further In Yoga And Life

What does progressing Further in your body, mind, and life mean to you? How does the practice of yoga and meditation help you achieve your life goals? The most significant benefit of yoga in healing your health is that it helps you become aware of your body to make the mental choices necessary to make sure that you continue with a healthy lifestyle. Yoga improves your posture, body awareness, awareness of and control of your breath as you make your way between the various poses. As well, your mind is strengthened as you sit back on your seat, looking deeply into both your breath, and your body. In many ways, yoga will do more to increase your stamina and resilience than can be achieved through regular exercise. 

How to progress further in your BODY:

Yoga was the ultimate game-changer for me. The practice connected me to my body and inspired me to get fit; this opened a whole new world. I went from being an overweight, disembodied girl into a healthy, confident, life enthusiast. For me yoga on and off the mat is about enhancing that which already is so that I can thrive. It is about going further than I ever thought possible.

For many the physical benefits of yoga – increased strength, balance and flexibility – are a source of inspiration. Appreciation for the body grows when we realize all of the amazing things it can do, and there is a sense of pride and empowerment that comes with physical transformation and greater self care. The body is the gateway to the mind; making this connection is the first step toward a stronger, more whole self.

How to progress further in your MIND:

My Dad’s go-to phrase to me as a sulky teenager was always “Happiness is a choice.” Yoga has helped me to truly understand what this means. During a yoga practice, I am faced with choices in each movement, each posture, each transition. Should I skip this chaturanga? Should I push to square my hips in Warrior 3 or settle with one hip lifted? Life is a series of choices and yoga has helped me make choices that keep me happy and take me further on my path.

Children have very few choices. As kids we are told to – and are rewarded for – listening and following directions. While this paradigm shifts as we mature into adults, sometimes there is a lag between realizing we have choice and actually making decisions for ourselves. This is where the yoga comes in. It raises our awareness to habitual thoughts and patterns, and gives us an opportunity to decide whether or not they are life enhancing. We love how Bernadette mapped the power of choice she experiences on her mat back to childhood. Sounds like she had a pretty good dad!

How to progress further in your LIFE:

My yoga practice has come in and out of my life over the past 15 years, always returning when I am searching for balance, direction and happiness. It has opened my mind to see that all of these things lie within me. It has helped me find the strength and courage I needed to transform my life, my career and my relationships. Yoga anchors me in the dynamic sea that is life.

The practice of yoga is another “arrow in the quiver” of life. Outside of the physical benefits, it helps us stay calm, it raises our awareness and it teaches us how to discover and rely on our internal data to skillfully navigate the complexities of life. From relationships and parenting to athletics and work, our on the mat learnings apply to everything. And the knowledge is always there. We just need to remember to look.

What do you think?

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Written by Michelle Bouchard

Michelle Bouchard has dedicated herself to teaching, studying, and writing about yoga for over 20 years. She is currently the metaphysical gemstone advisor for Japa Mala Beads. Mala beads are a simple yet powerful string of prayer beads that Buddhists and Yogis have used for hundreds of years to count mantras and prayers with.

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