After practising qi gong for many years I began taking yoga classes. Thanks to qi gong I had already reached a good understanding of how energy flows through the body and learned to direct and focus it. Yoga works very much on a similar energetic level. It releases blockades and restores the natural flow of energy in the body. Therefore it doesn't just increase strength, flexibility and balance but also helps to create inner peace and mental clarity.
Some thoughts on yoga for anyone curious to try it:
- yoga is about letting go control, because trying to control the instabilities and uncertainties of life is exhausting
- often times we read about healthier diets or other healthy lifestyle changes, but struggle to put them into practice. Yoga is a way to improve your health and well-being without it being a chore.
- yoga restores the natural feeling for your body. Our bodies adapt to our life style without us even being aware of it. This often results in a bad and unhealthy posture, that will then feel "natural" to us. Yoga helps the body to find its true balance and form, and feel comfortable in it.
- the deep and steady breathing, that is part of the yoga practice, has a purifying effect.
- contrary to popular belief yoga helps build strength and promotes muscle growth, through many bodyweight exercises. Baptiste power vinyasa yoga, for example, focuses very intensely on strengthbuilding, which is why it has become very popular recently.
My yoga teacher, Schirin, has the background of a physiotherapist and has therefore found yoga a great way to heal people's suffering. She refers to the sutras of Patanjali as her strongest influence and inspiration.
The greatest thing that I have learned from her is to let go of my ambition and just be, breathe and feel the body. Only letting go has helped me to achieve a deep trust in my body's capabilities.