Yoga as a lifestyle also known as ‘the yogic way’ continues to grow in popularity in the western world. Trendy on social media, it is more often associated with celebrity and internet influencers than the tradition that dates back over 5000 years. As an authentic way of life, the true philosophy of yoga is intended to simplify, unify and expand one’s life. It is not tied to religion and can be practiced in harmony with all belief systems. Taking yoga off the mat, so much of this practice can bring balance and clarity to every aspect of your life from relationships to parenting to waiting in line. If you are new to a yogic lifestyle, here are some basic principles to get you started!
Your body is the vehicle through which your sacred life force, or prana, is expressed, and therefore spiritual health goes hand in hand with physical health. Yoga means ‘to yoke’ or unite, bringing alignment and balance to all the systems of the body right down to the cellular level.
How we treat our bodies, what we digest mentally and physically plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy yogic lifestyle. Practising Ahimsa- or NON-VIOLENCE towards oneself and others, in action or energetically is key in feeling and living our best.
In order to become self AWARE, we must practice on a daily basis. Letting go of physical pain and muscle tension is a major step in being able to sit with oneself, first physically then mentally. To begin to ‘witness the witnesser’ and ’notice the noticer’, we have to be able to SIT in the first place and find the STILLNESS that is needed to become more and more aware of all that is beyond the ‘busy-ness’ of the mind….. the blueprint for it all!
The most important aspect of the yoga philosophy is meditation. Ancient analogies compare the physical BODY as a chariot carrying us through our lives, attached to horses (the senses) that must be controlled by (the reins) of the mind. To sit daily in meditation is to find that stillness again and again and harness this ability. Staying comfortable is key in being able to remain steady in your practice. Siddhiwear’s eco friendly fabric can help you stay relaxed in stretchy, soft apparel…..with hats or headbands to help contain energy and reduce distractions.
Breathing CONSCIOUSLY is essential to a yogic lifestyle. Most people tend to have quick, shallow and irregular breath patterns that can contribute to feeling stressed, anxious and ungrounded. By taking long, deep inhalations that begin in the lower abdomen and rise up through the body into the lungs, we can increase our lung capacity, energy and oxygen levels. Wearing loose, comfortable clothing like our breathable, stretchy Siddhi Harem pants can allow full, unrestricted belly breaths. This way of breathing strengthens the body, builds the immune system and contributes to our overall well being.
This unique practice offers incredible benefits that even if you just stick to yoga for physical fitness, the time spent on your mat will ultimately permeate into the rest of your life. Yoga gives the gift of a calm and consistent mind in the midst of chaos and instability, allowing you to let go easier, be less reactive and stay grounded and present more often.
Yoga is far more than the pretzel poses seen in magazines or on social media. Living a yogic lifestyle inspires us to slow down, go deeper and appreciate where we are and who we are. It is a SCIENCE intended to liberate, nurture and EXPAND the small self into a fuller, more conscious, more joyous version….pure, free, forever.