“Stretch out your eyelashes” Do what??

November 5, 2010 11:35 am Published by

OK so I thought as this blog, website and adventure has kinda just begun that I should get this bit in early! I don’t want all my loved ones to think I have gone stark raving mad and have suddenly turned into an ‘Om’ chanting spiritual junkie, that’s going to dedicate the rest of my life in search of the perfect head stand!

I think the idea that yoga is strictly for being connected with spiritual riches or enlightenment does scare people off a bit. I think the generalisation that if you do yoga then you will suddenly want to stop wearing makeup, drinking cider, eating chocolate and want to send yourself off to exotic places to do yoga, chanting and meditation with other ‘magical’ people.  Or that in fact you need to be uber bendy and talk in a mellow tone, well this is to say that you don’t need to do any of these things. Everyday people of all sizes and ages and levels can benefit and enjoy the riches that taking a moment of time out of the stress of everyday life to bring your attention back to deep, slow breathing and focus on the movement of energy around the body, that is yoga.

There are many different forms and ways of doing yoga similar as there are many ways to go about gym training. Some people lift 50kg weights, others just 2kg, some use equipment, others do not. Some runners are sprinters, others are long distance. I find categorizing yoga into one specific centre for finding divine spirit or to achieve enlightenment is a little narrow minded. Yoga is real life and people enjoy doing it for many different reasons; to calm their minds, increase flexibility; putting themselves into positions that they never dreamed they could, to lose a few pounds (yes yoga can be intense and sweaty). I know that I’m not just searching for a more meaningful way of life – that’s not the sole reason why I do yoga, but the benefits’ are clear to see and if it’s not for you then that’s fine!

If it is something you want to give a go yoga does not have to be about being any way. It is about just being you, flowing through movements with focus on the body, the mind and the breath.  I judge just as much as the next person, sometimes I see guys in the gym lifting weights with their veins popping, their faces bright red and I think that cant be enjoyable or particularly good for the body, but each to their own and its the same with the practise of yoga!

Yoga has become fashionable in the last few years and there is an abundance of resource, schools, classes, retreats, courses, DVD’s, books the list goes on, and i think like with anything that turns into a sudden craze this is a positive and a negative thing. The release of Elizabeth Gillbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ I’m sure got mixed reviews amongst yogis and people that think that the answer is not just leaving your life as you know it and jetting off around the world to ‘find your true self’ but it does show I think that we all need to believe that there is something that can ‘release’ our body and mind. This can of course be done in a pub on a Thurs, Fri or Sat night but I like to think that there is something more, something more harmonious!

In the last 2 years I seem to have been be like a Tornado hunter similar to those in the Hollywood classic, ‘Twister’ dashing about London to different yoga classes, I think that way I’m lucky enough to experience different teachers, styles and surroundings, hopefully all aiding in deepening my knowledge and understanding of Yoga and more to the point its been great fun in the process!

By eliminating the “requirement” of using yoga only to achieve greatness or reach a higher state of consciousness, you are opening people up to the idea of trying something new, expanding themselves, to reach deep into themselves to challenge themselves a little longer, to keep going, to hold a pose longer and that, in turn, frees your mind up and enables you to push through and enjoy life to the full.

So stretching from the eyelashes upwards with conviction in a certain yoga pose, does sound ridiculous but if you are going to do something you might as well do it well!

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This post was written by Laura Avery