I guess it really comes down to a question of your goals and how you expect to reach them. The biggest challenge that most humans face as a species is the “addictive mindset.” Plain and simple. I’ve decided to just “tell it like it is” and put all my cards on the table. If you’re alive and breathing air and living on planet earth, chances are – you’re addicted to *something!*
To be fair, let me just say that I use the word “addicted” quite loosely. In my eyes, attachment and addiction are one in the same.
So when I say “addiction,” I am not necessarily talking about heroin or alcohol or nicotine or food or gambling. By the way, you don’t have to weigh 300 pounds to be considered a food addict. I believe that if your relationship with food is self destructive, you’re a food addict – meaning you have an addictive relationship with food. We could say the same for television or pornography or Coca Cola or your boyfriend or husband or wife.
If the relationship is destructive, I believe it can be classified as an attachment or addiction. Many people shun this idea that “attachment” must be bad. They will say something like – -”but I love my dog or my Mom or my kid or my husband and I am attached to them. How can that be bad? People need people. How can that be bad?”
And I don’t disagree! Yes, people need people! That’s human nature. We are social beings, dependent on interaction with others in order to stay sane. This is a given. So let me qualify. In my eyes, there is “healthy attachment” and there is “unhealthy” attachment. My guess is that if you are an adult and you are reading this post, you have some familiarity with what I speak of. I call this part of the post “Co-dependence 101.”
But I digress. So getting back to the original question: Why YOGA? And why daily practice? I can only speak from personal experience on this. And my guess is that they’ve never done a large enough double blind study to ever really prove what I am about to propose. And personally, I don’t give a flying (you know what) if something has been proven scientifically or not. If it works for me – that’s proof enough. And that’s pretty much how I live my life. This ability to “trust my gut” is what makes me a yogi. There is a certain “self confidence” that comes with daily yoga practice and this my friends, is the essence of yoga.
In November of 2011, I just celebrated my 14th anniversary of daily yoga practice. That’s right, it was in November of 1997 that I made the commitment to make my yoga practice my highest priority. And I have not wavered from that promise that I made to myself.
People wonder how I stay motivated. That’s a subject for a whole other post. But let me cut to the chase. Yoga keeps me sane. There! I’ve said it! Yoga keeps me sane!
I guess that makes me part of the “sane minority” and I’m proud to be a card carrying member of that club. My guess is that most people who practice daily yoga or meditation (and I see them as one in the same) are doing it for this very reason – to stay sane.
If I gave you a choice between sanity and insanity – which one would you choose?
There, I think I’ve made my case for daily yoga. And I also understand that yoga is not the drug of choice for everyone. But I must say, in yoga’s defense, I’ve found the side effects to be quite attractive.
I believe that yoga may soon qualify as an addictive substance. Perhaps there will be a mandatory sign posted in every yoga studio worldwide: Warning – Yoga May Be Habit Forming. With continual daily practice you can expect the following side effects: Proceed With Caution and Check With Your Physician if you have any of the following side effects:
- Over riding sense of serenity and inner peace
- Feeling love towards all of man kind
- Finding your bliss for extended periods throughout the day on a daily basis
- Seeing the good in others – finding fault with no one
- Treating others with respect and kindness
- Letting go of anger and feeling appreciative even when others disappoint you
- Total acceptance of the outcome of every situation
- Appreciating each moment and living fully in the now
- Free of anxiety, worry and fear
- Healthy body weight without dieting
- Loss of cravings for junk food
- Deep appreciation for Nature and a love of the outdoors
- Supple, flexible, strong, energetic body
- Calm, relaxed demeanor
- Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- Feeling energized, vibrant and fully alive
So remember to check with your physician if after practicing yoga for a few days, you begin to experience any of the above side effects. This may indicate a strong attachment towards or addiction to yoga. Proceed with caution as you may be heading towards heaven on earth!
And if you’re serious about making changes . . . . .
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