Wellness Wednesday: You Underestimate Yoga
Hello, Dr. Cori here, pharmacist, yoga teacher, and founder of Do Diabetes Differently, and welcome to another episode of Wellness Wednesday. And you’re probably thinking, doesn’t she know it’s Thursday….Yes, I know, sometimes my travel gets in the way of doing video and yesterday I just didn’t have enough WiFi where I was. But no worries, we are talking today!
And this topic is so important, I am talking about it twice. I posted a blog, yes, blogs are back, on why yoga is more than exercise. It actually irks me a bit to hear people call yoga exercise as if that is all it offers. Women will tell me they need to come to yoga so they can stretch and I’m thinking, if that is all you want from yoga, you could stretch at home. And I’m not saying that to be harsh, but yoga was never designed to be another item on your to do list. If you are just showing up on the mat to force yourself into some postures for 75 minutes, so you can check exercise off the list, you are missing the whole point. Yoga is a lifestyle that extends beyond stretching and stress reduction.
The blog this week talks about the impact yoga can have on diabetes and I get a little technical in the blog, but for this Wellness Wednesday, I want to focus more on the helping you to better understand living a yoga lifestyle. Yoga is defined as equanimity, or a state of psychological stability and composure that is undisturbed by life happening around us that may cause us to lose balance in the mind. So essentially, equanimity allows you to be unaffected by the chaos going on around you. I reference this idea of internal vs. external focus a lot in my coaching.
So yoga is an opportunity to unite and harmonize the body with the mind.
Ok Dr. Cori, so what exactly does that look like?
There are in fact 8 limbs of yoga, asana, the physical postures is only one of them. The 8 fold program focuses on restraints, actions, control of the breath, withdrawal from the 5 senses so turning more inward, concentration and focus, meditation, and liberation, which is like finding more joy in life. All in addition to the physical postures you practice in a yoga class.
Yoga should heighten your awareness to the imbalances you experience in your life. Encourage you to want to change them and guide you in an intentional way to act on that change. Yoga is conscious living.
We fumble around on a day to day basis letting life just happen. Letting people take advantage of our time and complaining that we don’t have enough. We abuse our bodies with too much food and not enough sleep and wonder why we can’t lose weight or focus on our goals. We won’t invest our resources in our health and will instead spend money on clothes, shoes, and handbags to impress people we’re not even sure we really like. We call people our friends but haven’t actually called them in a year and yet wonder what happened to our relationships.
You see yoga offers you a path to create the life you keep talking about. The actual practice of yoga is more off the mat than on. And what you do off the mat, you carry into your practice on the mat.
For example, when you wonder why you can’t hold a pose, you give in just as you are about to lose your balance or you try to force a pose because other people are doing that pose, or you stop going to class because your practice doesn’t look like the practices around you and you just don’t feel like trying today, you’d rather watch Netflix and
Doesn’t that sound a little like stuff off the mat?
Similarly, you can’t stick to your goals because you’re scared or they feel too hard. You say you’re trying but nothing is working.
Or you show up to events or post your every activity on social media just so that you can be seen.
Or you stopped going out because you’ve gained too much weight so you claim busy when in fact you’re just uncomfortable with where you are in life right now.
What shows up on the mat, shows up in other places in your life.
A little tough love this Wellness Wednesday, but it’s so important that you take ownership of your life and your health and use the many tools available to you to help you do that.
If you have never committed to a yoga practice or have “misplaced” your mat, I invite you to recommit with a new intention. No expectations just show up. And hey, no one gets it right 100% of the time. Yoga teachers continue to study and do trainings to stay focused on the full experience of yoga. For example, I have a 200 hour training, currently going through a 300 hour training, and hopefully next month an Ashtanga Intensive. So there’s a lot of study that does into practicing and teaching yoga, and I share that with you to increase your awareness to the full experience of yoga and with that awareness creates more openness to what you can personally experience.
If you’re looking for a yoga home, I teach at Balance Yoga & Wellness in Midcity New Orleans, we would love to have you at our studio, check out the schedule online at balanceyogawellness.com. I teach Mondays at 7:30 PM but there are many class options to fit your schedule.
So if you like this content and find it helpful, please share because it’s not enough to just focus on our own health, we have to help the people we love and create a lasting health legacy for our families and our communities.
And if there is a topic you want to hear on Wellness Wednesday, let me know and if I can help, I will discuss live on my Facebook page or catch the replay on IGTV, Vimeo, or on my blog with the notes at CoriCooper.com
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