Whether you’re an expert in your yoga practice or just starting out, the fundamentals are important to master and use as a foundation for building yourself, your strength, balance, and mindfulness. Fundamentals are important in just about anything, and yoga is no different.
I believe the breath to be the most important part of the yoga practice. Without the breath it’s hard to calm your mind and even more challenging to stretch and move your body to its full potential. Breathing goes much farther than yoga, as it’s the foundation for life. Without oxygen, we wouldn’t survive.
Try to focus on breathing off your mat as much as you do during your yoga practice. You might be surprised how shallow your normal breaths are or how sporadic they might seem compared to when your focus is on controlling them. We should all be more mindful of our breath, as it’s much more powerful than some give it credit for.
Equally important as the breath is your mind. Yoga is truly about consciousness and being able to be strong willed enough to break free from the chains that hold us down in our day-to-day lives. Whether it be possessions, emotional turmoil, or some other metaphorical shackle, yoga helps us focus on what is important, and that is living a virtuous, meaningful life.
By calming our breath and looking deep within ourselves, we can find inner peace and strength to break free from whatever it is that’s holding us back. It’s easy to drift off and let the mind wander, but when you’re on your mat you should be focusing your energy on your breath and stilling your mind as best you can. This can be difficult, even for experienced yogis, as even they may be so used to the regular practice that they might simply be “going through the motions” rather than focusing on what’s important.
Physical fitness is another essential part of the yoga regime. While flexibility isn’t essential, it’s important to take care of your body and treat it with respect. Eating right and nurturing yourself should be something to consider if yoga is something that you’re already into or just trying out. Flexibility will come with time and practice, but being confident and appreciative of the body you’ve been given will make your yoga practice x10 better.
Even if you’re not into yoga, we only get this body we’re using one time. Treat it right. Eat healthier. Drink more water. Flush out toxins. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.
Yoga is a spiritual practice. Whether you believe in God, many deities, or no higher power, one of the principle beliefs of yoga is that we humans are spiritual beings. We are all working toward inner peace and should aim to detach ourselves from any and all things that aren’t supportive of that journey.
There are many types of yoga and beliefs within the practice, and I’m not going to say that there is one right way of viewing the world. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and I’m sure it has transformed and been adapted as time has allowed for new cultures and ideas to blend with the original teachings. What’s important to remember is that we are all on a spiritual journey, and we should recognize and be kind to one another.
Love one another. Be compassionate towards each other.
Whether you’re stepping onto the mat for the first time or you’ve been doing this since before I was born, I hope this helped you realize the severity of yoga fundamentals. It’s important to keep a daily or weekly practice to keep your mind fresh and your body active.
Focus on your breathing, still your mind, and take care of your body and spirit. We are all in this together. How do you feel yoga has changed your life? Do you agree or disagree with anything talked about in this article? Let us know in the comments how you feel!