Yoga does not require us to be young and even if we are not perfectly healthy, it works precisely because yoga is medicine itself. With a little perseverance, it heals and rejuvenates us and makes us flexible and strong. Not by the standards of advertising but according to your own and the real standards of health and beauty. Because for yoga we are unique and we are beautiful, we just need to find the natural balance which is health and mental clarity and we can flourish to our fullest.
Because yoga is a scientific and philosophical tradition, it is a non-dogmatic way of life, in which you take what you see fit and as such, it is for everyone who wants to develop as a human being. The postures should not be difficult because they were created to be practiced by all human beings. It simply constitutes an individual process whose rhythm is determined by each body and where the main objective is to work the body to quiet the mind.
In fact, we work the body so that it is strong and healthy and to achieve radiant health, we can go beyond it. The goal of yoga is not to do the handstand or achieve the perfect lotus, but the goal of yoga is just doing yoga. It is to practice listening to the body with perseverance and affection because it makes us feel extremely well.
We just have to choose the right yoga for everybody and every temperament, according to the needs and possibilities. Yoga is actually very easy if we approach it with patience and openness, with the only expectation which is to feel better. And that good feeling cannot be achieved with an amazing position but it is about doing something we did not know we could and more importantly, it is much more than hope as it is more mental clarity, tranquility, inner stability, better health, greater motivation and feeling of joy.
While the techniques that we know are the physical exercises of yoga i.e. postures, yoga is a whole system that covers different practices and tools and it is a way of seeing and living life. Doing yoga can be an inner state of openness and attention, conscious breathing, or chanting a mantra. And of course, the central practice of the tradition of raja yoga is meditation. Our first stretch opens a new, more harmonious world with the intelligence of our body and the cosmic nature of our being.
Yoga is not difficult or competitive because it is not a sport. It is a science for the physical, mental, and spiritual development of our human potential. It does not require you to change your lifestyle or your beliefs, nor does it require any training or skill. Nobody is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for yoga. It is both a tool and a look for self-observation, transformation, and transcendence.
Furthermore, it is easy to practice for the reason that everyone starts from the point where he or she is. Some years ago, I neither thought of doing yoga. Because before I came to know well what the essence of yoga is and how simple it can be to practice, I thought that ‘yoga’ a was very difficult strength exercise and stretching was near the contortion, and I would make a fool trying to do so and that I would be demanded to adopt a strange lifestyle for which I was absolutely unprepared.
I also believed strongly that, although I looked beautiful and although I sensed that yoga was part of something bigger than some exercises and it could change my life, it was not for me.
I did not believe to be sufficiently thin, disciplined, or athletic to do yoga. Only when I went to India and I was fortunate to change the vision, I could see that my real limitations were psychological, as in many aspects of life. I was bound by my beliefs. Like other restless spirits, the search for meaning, freedom, and fullness took me to yoga. Not as a form of exercise anymore, as we understand it in most parts of the world, but as medicine and spiritual practice. I now realize what really yoga is after years of practice.
While it is true that sometimes we see stunning images of what you can get to make the body of a trained experienced yogi, yoga is for all body types, ages, and states of health. The truth is that yoga does not require us to be anything in particular. There is no need to be strong or flexible to practice yoga. These qualities are the result of yoga, not requirements, and are not the most important aspects as well. One may not be able to explain this discipline to you in words until you experience it with your own body and mental presence.