There is a reason I started the resolution posts with exercise; for me, fitness comes first. If I’m exercising I am more aware of what I eat and make better choices. I enjoy balanced, nutritious meals. That said, it is not always easy to convince myself to lace up my trainers. The first step is the hardest.
Yoga is a practice that combines physical and mental strength.
Have you ever noticed how yoga comes naturally to animals? Cat pose, downward dog and cat-terunga as well as their variations. Henry’s favourite is a seated pose. He’ll turn and stretch his little black nose toward the ceiling while pushing his front feet into the floor. It seems as if he will split himself in two! Henry even has the costal breathing perfected during this stretch – at great volume.
For anyone who has ever practiced yoga, it is an incredibly powerful form of exercise for the body and the mind. I feel strong, stretched, and wrung-out. I also feel relaxed and invigorated at the same time! My mind initially cluttered, becomes clear, I am able to focus on my breathing and my mental state is more positive. It’s as if I have gained a dog’s perspective on life – they don’t have to practice!
This perspective – for humans, is based on the philosophy of yoga. Adopting this philosophy as well as meditation and the physical practice; yoga poses and breathing exercises, will, in my opinion, inspire the greatest transformations within us.
The Yamas and Niyamas – ethical goals to strive for
- Nonviolence, Non-violence, non-harming other living beings
- Not stealing
- Non-hypocrisy, sincerity
- Measured diet
- Purity, cleanliness
The following list of Niyamas are a combination of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the order of The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (as selected by me):
- Purity, clearness of mind, speech and body
- Contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self
- Persistence, perseverance in one’s purpose, austerity
- Generosity, charity, sharing with others
- Remorse and acceptance of one’s past, modesty, humilitystudy of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches and actions