Why should I do Yoga?
There are so many reasons to practice Yoga. Some come for the flexibility, others for the stress relief, still others to find relief from physical pain, and there are many more reasons to unroll your mat and practice. Yoga, which comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” means to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual to lead a balanced and useful life. Most importantly, Yoga teaches us to tune in to our “Self” by peeling off layers of expectations and conditioning. And then, in Yoga, we learn to really listen to ourselves and begin to understand. It is because of this tuning in, this listening, that Yoga can help us to become better communicators. So, maybe you did not come to your mat to become a better communicator, and that’s okay. But as you tune in, it is likely that you will, and here are just a few reasons why, from practical physical reasons to the more philosophical:
Yoga brings awareness to the breath. According to the Bergerac company, when we are nervous, speaking energy becomes trapped in our abdomen, the place most of us instinctively tighten when we feel threatened or under stress. As soon as we tighten the belly, the diaphragm cannot move properly. In our restoring fertility Yoga practice, over time, we intrinsically understand the ebb and flow of the breath, and will have the awareness, as well as many Pranayama techniques to guide us.
Yoga encourages Self acceptance. This acceptance, built over time in our practice, allows us to find equanimity in every situation so that we are confident in our Selves. We will not therefore, be as tempted to say something just to appease someone else, we will be able to use our authentic voice which will lead to more calm, clear and focused communication.
In Yoga, we learn not to judge control, force, coerce, or even expect. As far as how this can enhance your communication, this one speaks for itself!! Think about how much more effectively you can communicate if you let go of the control of every outcome and simply focus on sharing what you have to say and listening.
Yoga encourages you to listen. When you spend time in practice listening to yourself, and that means, really listening to yourself, you begin to understand what it means to be present and listen to what is there, not what you think is there, or what you have always thought . As you become more skilled at listening, this naturally transcends your practice on the mat and you are able to be fully present and listen to others as well.
Yoga encourages peaceful conflict resolution. So you are in class, standing on one foot, and lifting the other leg and wrapping it around your standing leg, and then you are wrapping your arms around each other, right? Sounds like the body is way out of its comfort zone. So what do you do? Become angry? Yell at the teacher? Withdraw and give up? Nope. You BREATHE. Now, if you can simply breathe into this challenge in class, surely you will approach conflicts off the mat with a little more tranquility.
Yoga encourages you to treat yourself with love, kindness and respect. And, thus, you can open to others in the same fashion.