Now that we understand that physical fitness is just one small aspect of yoga, I'm gonna tell you why it's better than every other fitness modality.
But first, here's a nifty visual I made:
To fully understand why I think yoga is SO much better than other exercises, especially for desk workers, we need to understand the purpose of physical fitness in yoga.
"Asana is a steady comfortable posture."
Book 2; Sutra 46; The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda.
Essentially, when Yoga talks about asana, we're talking about a "steady," still, and "comfortable posture." Oy vey. Now we're back to this what on earth does movement have to do with Yoga thing?
By lessening the natural tendency for restlessness and by meditating on the infinite, posture is mastered.
Book 2; Sutra 47; The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda.
Here, Yoga acknowledges that humans have a natural tendency to be restless. There's always something else to do or somewhere else to be. Isn't it crazy this book was written in like a billion years ago (sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE... again I teach yoga not math) and IT'S STILL RELEVANT!
It also tells us that we can "master" this portion of Yoga through "meditating on the infinite." Movement practice is one kind of meditation, but that's not what we're talking about here. Don't worry about that now. Meditation is another piece of the yoga pie we'll cover at a later date.
ANYWAY. The point of our physical yoga practice is to keep the body physically strong and well enough to sit in a comfortable position for an extended period of time.
THE POINT OF YOGA IS TO HELP YOU SIT!
Partly. One part of yoga movement is to help us sit, an eighth of Yoga to be exact. So why is it that the movement practice is the most commonly seen and practiced?
Because we live in the here and now. And here and now, we have back pain. We have bad posture and other weird aches, probably from sitting a ton. Ironically, the more we move, the easier it gets to sit comfortably for longer periods of time.
Ok. Now we're actually getting somewhere.
This week on my Instagram, I'll be sharing postures, exercises, and a flow that may help you understand or relieve some back pain.