Does practising yoga make you happy in the long-term? Or is it just a waste of time?
When you put ‘benefits of yoga’ into the search engine of Google, you will find at least 4’950’000 entries. I actually came upon the key words ‘makes you happier’. There is so much more to read about the advantages of yoga: helps you focus, relaxes your system, helps you sleep better, boosts your immune system, gives you peace of mind and more. I just mentioned the ones that are my weaknesses in life.
I haven’t looked at yoga from this perspective at any time in my life. My pediatrician was probably the first one who suggested me yoga, autogenic training and the like. I heard it once or twice, then I forgot about it. Seriously?! I am 26 years old now and still feeling fit and healthy with my lifestyle. I would like to give my best at work, then organize get togethers with friends for right after work – this should include sports, because I am so energetic – I want to cook healthy, I want to read and study languages and so much more. So, why should I be doing yoga? For me, there is only one answer: I need to learn how to relax in the most stressful moments in life. I know that much! However, I am still not convinced that yoga IS IT! However, I wouldn’t be writing about it right now if I thought it couldn’t help at all.
Often, people have a big influence on you; especially good people. People, who truly want to help you. I am thinking of them right now. My pediatrician, who’s known me for a very long time and who’s never given me the wrong remedies – an intelligent person whom I can trust. Then, there is a close friend who’s having very similar thoughts regarding living the best life you can. This person reads a lot about ‘worldly wisdoms’ such as love of attraction, the power of now, self-love and so on. She swears of meditation. Now, I am thinking of all the serious, deep conversations we had. This person has had or is having the same struggles as I am having and it connects us (besides more things). It is especially interesting that she talked of meditation, since it’s not that different from yoga. My flat mate, who’s never lied to me once (from what I know) and who’s into all those subjects as well. The one who told me that I’d gain so much more time if I mastered to stop thinking. He did express his doubts about yoga though, but for him, it has a different significance (stretching). After I told him that it might help me to calm down, he agreed that it could be worth giving it a try. Then, there were a few more professionals who advised me on the same. One of them did so just about a week ago. As you notice from the above written, it seems that there are only positive effects of yoga; let’s see if there are any negatives sides to it, too.
Honestly, I couldn’t find any trustworthy text on that. What we all know, is that yoga can cause damages while performed inaproppriately, but this counts for each sport.
As you can see, many of the loving persons who surround me have given me advice on mediation, autogenic training, yoga, focus on the present and more the like.
So, I just tried. I went to a yoga class in gym and I’d like to share my experience with you. I felt a little bit insecure, because I didn’t know many of the poses they did. It was all new to me. To me, it was quite awkward when everyone was pressing out short, loud breaths. It was just the sound, honestly. Not more than that. During the whole time, I tried to focus on my body, the present and either not thinking or even doing the thought stop technique. I couldn’t do it. My mind driftet away several times. I don’t know anymore what thoughts I had.
At the end, when we were lying on the back, I suddenly felt strong back pain. My muscles were on fire! That was so strange and scary!!! I didn’t know what it was, but then, it was gone the next day.
After the yoga class, I had the feeling of being in a trance. How can I possibly describe it rationally to someone who hasn’t done yoga once? I was feeling tired; but not mentally. Even though I wanted to walk faster after the class, I couldn’t. Time was getting tight after the yoga, because I had to prepare brunch for my sister and I hadn’t even gone to buy bread, butter etc. before.
The Phrase that I have just written, doesn’t describe the state I was in after the class. I knew I had to do all that within a short time, but somehow it just didn’t bother me. ‘Normally, it would have freaked me out’. I got it all sorted out in time by the way.
This was my first yoga experience. It was nice, because I didn’t have any disturbing thoughts after the class. My mind felt empty and put to rest (or standby). But, I would like to point out that so far, I only have done it once and I am not able to come to any conclusion. I cannot tell you, if it will help me to get happier in life. I guess it has to be practised like anything else in life.
I had written all the above before the second yoga class I attented with my friend on Sunday. I was less concentrated and had to laugh a few times, because she was next to me and I thought she would see the pain I was feeling and that I wasn’t very good at stretching. That day’s experience was quite similar to the one of the first yoga class except for the strong pain I was feeling. It was so much stronger! Well, I only can blame myselft. Seriously, I started yoga with the thought of using it as a ‘rest’ from my other training’. Actually, on Friday, I had done my new gym program for about 45 minutes, then went to bodytoning class for an hour (it is one of my favourites) and later on went dancing for about four hours. The day after, I spent with friends at the lake. So, you can imagine my energy wasn’t up to a 100%. Then, I went to yoga class on Sunday morning and ever since then, I’ve been in pain. Let me tell you: Yoga is not as relaxing for your body as you might imagine.