WHY IS YOGA GOOD?
DOES IT HELP REDUCE STRESS AND CAN IT HAVE A PREVENTIVE EFFECT?
The human being is something very complex.
We are made of matter yes, but also of thoughts ideas, emotions, and if we wish, also of spirit.
We can therefore identify 3 fundamental planes that make up our existence as human beings.
The physical plane, made of matter, consisting of muscles, bones, organs (such as the liver, stomach, pancreas, intestines, brain.....) blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves. Which co-ordinate into systems and apparatuses and work together as one big orchestra.
The mental plane: co-ordinated by the brain and the nervous system, which not only co-operates with the physical body, but also gives life to ideas, thoughts, emotions and states of mind.
And the least concrete plane of all, the spiritual, for which it is said there is a need to believe, to have faith, precisely because it is not tangible.
Yoga embraces all these aspects.
It is a physical practice (the most common and best known in the West).
But it is also a mental, philosophical practice.
It is a spiritual practice.
It is rare to find other disciplines that truly touch so deeply on all these aspects that are part (willingly or unwillingly) of the human being's life.
That is why we can say that fundamentally, yoga is good: it considers the human being in all his 'planes', in all his facets, and it has the means, the tools (tried and tested for centuries and by thousands of masters who have dedicated their lives to doing this) to go and work on precisely all these aspects.
Here we will deal mainly with the physical aspect, with matter, but we will also touch on meditation (which concerns the more mental aspect).
You will see, however, how, even through work dedicated mainly to matter, one can still begin to touch the other two planes, the so-called subtler bodies of the human being.
Words such as acceptance, resilience, inner fire...may come to you even during the 'trivial' execution of physical exercises that in Yoga are called Asana.
Asana, from Sanskrit, sitting. A whole set of seated positions, but also standing, lying down, upside down....
So it goes without saying that it can be said that yoga helps reduce stress and can have a preventive effect.
When we work on the aspects listed above, we are working on maintaining health.
Yes, because even health is not something that remains unchanged indefinitely: it needs to be cultivated and cared for.
WHY IS YOGA A SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE?
Yoga is a sustainable practice precisely because it is a practice that can be repeated throughout life and at all ages.
It is a practice that was created and developed to help the human being, so it is yoga that adapts to the person and not the person to yoga.
This means that the yogic practice can and must be adaptable to each person's needs.
Especially when entering a therapeutic field such as yoga-therapy.
WHEN CAN YOGA BE HARMFUL?
The question that arises even before that is: but then, after all these nice things, this hype about yoga, how can yoga be bad for you?
Yoga can do harm. But when?
When it is practised badly.
Like all things.
So it is not yoga in itself that can hurt, but it is how it is practised, how it is interpreted, how it is transmitted!
It's lack of practice, lack of information, it's abuse and so on, as in all things, that can lead to problems.
It is essential to be aware of what you are doing.
And one way to cultivate this awareness is through constant practice.
Do we practice incorrectly? The result will be 'problematic'.
If we practise consciously, correctly, healthily, and pay attention to perceiving what signals the body and mind are sending us, and accept them, we will have increasingly positive results.
But this also requires training.
Nobody is born learned!
But everyone can learn.
Good practice ;-)