Yoga is a gentle set of universal self-improvement exercises that enriches the practitioner’s body, mind, and spirit. The birth place of Yoga may be India, however it’s for everyone, irrespective of one’s religion, gender, income, nationality, language, age, politics, or educational level.
Yoga is grounded in exercising, breathing, strengthening, meditating, relaxing and renewing of the total being of the practitioner. It’s difficult to describe, easy to notice and best experienced. You don’t have to be sick to enjoy the fruits of Yoga. The benefits manifest minutes and hours and days and weeks after each exercise. Like any exercise, it’s prudent to learn from a pro and practice it regularly to maximize the benefits.
People that practice yoga are called yogis. Yoga is for everyone who wants a better life. It’s an ancient practice that harmoniously brings relief for many ailments of the body, mind and spirit, per experts. Yoga frees one because of its noncompetitive nature. Ann Pizar of About.com stated “One of the most difficult, but ultimately most liberating things about yoga is letting go of the ego and accepting that no one is better than anyone else. Everyone is just doing [one’s] best on any given day”
Nigerians, like other nationalities, can benefit from yoga. It’s fun. “No pain, no gain” is not its mantra. You don’t need to exert yourself (as you would in other forms of exercises)to attain success in yoga. In fact, every good yoga teacher discourages painful moves. You are constantly reminded to let your inner wisdom be your guide.
“Yoga date back more than 5,000 years. In ancient times, the desire for greater personal freedom, health and long life, and heightened self-understanding gave birth to this system of physical and mental exercise which has since spread throughout the world”, according to American Yoga Association (AYA).
A 2008 Yoga in America study showed that medical doctors and therapists recommended yoga to 14 million of their patients. If American medical professionals with their vast resources are discovering and prescribing yoga, Nigerians (with our meager medical system) should explore and embrace yoga as preventive, treatment, and cure measures.
Famous American physicians Andrew Weil (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/ART02019)and
Deepak Chopra (http://www.chopra.com/yoga2012)and
others practice and recommend Yoga to healthy people as well as patients with, back pain, arthritis, depression, and heart disease. Major medical hospital and schools are promoting yoga as overall wellness program. Please check with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program!
Yoga is not a religion. It has no “us versus them” creed, mystery, image or figure to worship. Everyone can partake. It’s said to have been practiced as long as any religion. Nigerian politicians and religious leaders can better serve their constituencies and congregations by spurring yoga. Perhaps these would learn il-obtained wealth and fame can’t buy lasting happiness. Religious services should commence and/or end with some yoga moves in a three-for-one healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Maybe this will provide a common ground and relieve vicious sectarian tension between the various political camps, religions, and denominations.
How To Get Started On Yoga:
Yoga can be practiced virtually anywhere and it does not require expensive pieces of equipment or lengthy training and education. Come as you are; just have a wide-open and passionate mind. Once you begin to learn and reap the benefits of yoga, teach your beginner steps to others; don’t wait until you become a proficient yogi. That is what am doing through this article; I ask you do the same via phone, text, email, verbal, etc. Spread the word and help others.
Learning Yoga Is Easy And Fun: Thanks to the Internet, you can type “yoga” in your search engine and learn a whole lot. Take it a step further by going on Youtube.com and watching and practicing yoga poses for free. If you really want to supersize your reward, learn from an instructor in person. I go to yoga classes, although not as frequenttly as I should. I often practice it with my family. And each time is a lovely experience. The best outcomes can be attained from live yoga classes taught by seasoned teachers.
Few Nigerian entrepreneurs can form a reputable national professional association to provide yoga services and teacher certification. The program can be franchised to help people and provide needed employment in the country. The association can work with institutions, such as hospitals, banks, academic, governmental, and religious organization to spur total wellness. With so much wahala in Nigeria and in the world today, people will always need the relief yoga provides so well.
One can purchase yoga CDs or DVD to learn and practice in the privacy of one’s abode.
Start with our basic yoga pose sequences and/or these simple postures: seated twist, cat, dog, down dog, child, cobra,mountain, triangle, forward bend, according to Timothy Burgin of Yoga Basics.
Namaste! Have you had your Yoga today? If not, get ready to go on this journey; I promise you it will be a pleasant exercise for your body, mind and spirit. Come with me, please!
Chuks U.C. Ukaoma and his family reside in Austin, Texas, U.S.A