What is it about yoga that attracts so many people to it?
When I moved to the country, I wasn’t sure if I would garner an audience for the kind of yoga I teach. Building up class numbers has taken time, but now students are coming from far distances to the humble Yoga Shed.
I don’t take all the credit. I think people want to learn yoga for a variety of reasons, some of which are:
1. Physical well-being. This is a biggie. Dynamic yoga can get you into a pretty buffed condition, with more-than-inner glow. If you haven’t stretched your body or moved it much for many years, it will feel uncomfortable at first, but then you are going to feel amazing, in touch with all of you. Yoga helps you cope with an assortment of complaints, conditions, and injuries, too, from backache to jet lag.
2. Equilibrium. Each time you do yoga exercises followed by relaxation (pratyahara), together they help you move into a peaceful state of mind. The tranquil state may not last long at first, but upon repetition of the practices, you become calmer. The pendulum that swings widely with changing moods slows down and steadies. Reactivity diminishes.
3. Mental clarity. Practices like pranayama and meditation (dharana and dhyana) can ultimately lead to states that are beyond just physical and emotional well-being. The reflective practices set you on a path of discovering who you are in your essence, what matters most, and what you have come onto the planet for.
This last seems to be what is most enticing about long and profound involvement with yoga. It is where the goodies are, rewards that you may not have even have sought, but perhaps what attracted you in the first place.