Opinion by Navjot Kaur Dhaliwal
One of the most beautiful things that I have witnessed when I step into a yoga class is the diversity of students. Yoga is not just meant for a certain “type” of person- it is for everyone! Don’t let instagram photos of women doing handstands intimidate you… there are thousands of yoga asanas (poses) and each one of them serves a multitude of benefits. Some may love pigeon (I know I do!) and some may love child’s pose. Either way, there are plenty of yoga poses for you to try, no matter what your body type or background may be! I have met people who found yoga to heal their body from an injury or physical trauma. I have also met people who use yoga to heal their mind from overthinking and stress. And of course, I have met those who use yoga as a tool to get deeper into their spirit! I believe that when you try yoga, you can touch any or all aspects of the mind, body, and spirit for a healthier overall lifestyle.
I remember a few years back when I used to only hear talk about yoga in the major cities that I would visit (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego). Now, I have noticed the buzz of yoga in every suburban town that I visit as well! Interestingly enough, I did some research and according to the Yoga Alliance survey in 2016, “approximately 37 million Americans practice yoga today- up significantly from 20 million in 2012”. That is a lot of people in the West practicing yoga! Yoga has definitely been trending the past few years and I only see this number growing with the amount of studios, retreats, and teacher trainings increasing each year.
Every yoga teacher is different and it is important to find the teacher/studio that resonates with you the most! Majority of studios that I have been to offer first-time
student deals and this is a great way to figure out whether a studio is right for you! Once you have found a studio that you love, you will experience a Divine union within and all around! In sanskrit, the word yoga means “union”. This means union of the mind, body, and spirit. On another level, this could mean the union amongst all living beings and life itself. When we are connected to all aspects of the self, we are connected to all aspects of the outside world as well.
You can also practice yoga at the comfort of your own home, using apps like Meditation.Live. I have found that my consistency with my yoga practice has increased when I know I don’t have to always drive to a studio to get what I need. If you have never tried yoga, I am hoping that you try it soon. Happy International Yoga Day!