Dedication for Transformation – An Essential Part of Yoga
With regular yoga practice, most people experience improvements in their physical, mental and emotional health. Most yoga practitioners will also acknowledge that it has resulted in a transformation in their lives. That said, transformation does not come without dedication. Dedication for transformation is essential to fully benefit from yoga.
What Transformation Can One Expect?
If you practice yoga regularly with dedication, you will see a change in your life. The changes are usually subtle and the extent of the change will differ from person to person, but it will touch all aspects of life, including health, personality and relationships. Your general outlook towards life will also change for the better.
Yoga does not change anyone directly, but it helps you understand what keeps you from becoming the person you have the potential to be. It helps you transform by giving you direction and removing obstacles.
How Transformation Works
With dedication and regular practice, you can see how yoga touches almost every aspect of your life.
1. Improvements in Physical Fitness
Most people limit themselves to a few fixed postures and remain in them for hours together. We are either lying down, sitting or standing for long durations. This results in overworking of some muscles and joints without any of them experiencing their full range of movement.
When you perform asanas, you are taking on unusual postures and learning to be comfortable with them. You are using your muscles and joints to the fullest, and improving the flexibility of your body. Improved flexibility results in improved mobility. In the long run, you will be able to perform all types of physical activities with ease and without pain.
Asanas improve your balance and posture. Holding some positions is like resistance training and postures which require you to lift your body have an effect similar to weight training. Regular practice will improve your strength. Yoga was never meant to be an exercise, but it makes it easier for you to lose weight. Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, you will gradually move towards your ideal weight.
2. Health Improvements
Yoga has a significant impact on your general health. It improves your metabolism, reduces inflammation and strengthens the immune system. People suffering from chronic conditions like arthritis and back pain often report an improvement in their condition after practicing yoga.
Yoga helps lower stress-hormone levels. Lower stress results in better digestion, lower blood pressure and lower heart rate. This improves your energy levels and reduces the strain on your heart and cardiovascular system.
Stress prevents you from getting good sleep, which in turn, increases your stress. Yoga reverses this vicious cycle by reducing stress and helping you sleep better. With better sleep, you are likely to see a further reduction in stress.
3. Concentration and Discipline
The best time to do yoga is early in the morning. Getting up early for yoga has a positive impact. When you get up early every day, there will be a gradual change in your sleep pattern. You will find yourself going to bed early as well. Besides ensuring adequate rest, this gives you an early start to your day. Yoga also encourages you to listen to your body and understand its limitations. When you practice yoga regularly and with mindfulness, your concentration levels and discipline will improve.
4. Mood Improvements
Regular yoga detoxifies both the body and mind. It improves your mood and makes you feel good. Pranayama clears your airways and improves your breathing. With regular practice, deep breathing will become second nature and you will make better use of your lung capacity. This reduces hyperventilation, a common trigger for anxiety.
When you practice yoga with focus and without distractions, you are improving your ability to do the same with all other activities in your life. Being mindful keeps you in the present and reduces the tendency of the mind to wander into the past or worry about the future. You will experience an inner calm and find yourself thinking more clearly and taking better decisions. This will make your life less stressful. You will also experience higher energy levels and you are more likely to be successful in whatever you do.
5. Effects on Life Outlook
The peace and joy that you experience while practicing yoga gives you a glimpse of the happy person that you can be. When you achieve a difficult position that you never thought possible, it improves your confidence. It gives a positive outlook to life and gives you the confidence that you can surmount any difficulty that life may present. As you relax in the shavasana posture at the end of the session, you will be a content and happy person.
6. Personality Improvements
When you understand the yamas and niyamas of yoga and practice them in your life, you will see their magic in your personality. You will become more honest and disciplined. You will become more compassionate towards others and improve your relationships. You will also find it easier to get rid of bad habits like obsessions and addictions. Yoga will bring you closer to God, which will make you a happy and content person.
Yoga does not change you, but it helps you change. To change for the better, you have to be prepared to transform. Practice yoga with devotion and a dedication for transformation. Make yoga a part of your life and you will gradually see its positive impact. Make it your resolution for the coming new year.