The impact of yoga in one’s life should never be defined or limited to something you go and do on a mat. For most people their mats are their springboards that launch them into a whole new understanding of who and why they are.
In this lifetime not all beings are meant to be awakened, after all it takes a lot of practice and a deep profound dedication to a path of becoming a more enlightened being. So it’s not for everyone, nor should it be. In fact many Rishis or sages, warned against this very thing, working with practices that create larger surges of prana and power can short circuit some (I’ve even witness this after some yoga classes but especially at a weekend events, by the end people are fried not more alive per-say).
So with each pose done on the mat, each breath taken in pranayama, each minute spent in mediation one’s consciousness begins to rise, and in doing so you truly unite your body, mind, breath and heart. With that union comes some wonderful benefits, like improved posture which leads to so many other positives like more efficient breathing, sleeping, organ function, strength and balance those become pretty obvious with only a short time “doing” yoga. Other benefits, the ones that really do some funky things to you come with time, devotion and a burning zeal for the practice.
Sometimes I feel like I have a serious spidey-sense or am quite in tune with people or situations. This is a blessing and a curse. Why a curse? It’s a pain in the ass to be aware of everything going on all at once, all the time and it’s not a switch that I can just “shut-off.” My old techniques of numbing just don’t exist anymore the way they once filled my days.
So after over a decade (wow, already!) of yoga I would say that I am a much more conscious human being and that consciousness has allowed me to become more compassionate and thoughtful (although I don’t always get that right, nor does anyone so don’t be fooled). I think about my ripple effect before I make the wake, I think about how my actions impact the planet here and now and in the future, not just for me but for everyone, I think about how I speak to others about others and try my best to get better and better at vented without being a bitch. I think about how people are hurting, even if they are smiling, I think about how animals are treated and mistreated, I think about how to conserve, water, paper, recycle, re-use, what we eat, how we eat, I think about where stuff comes from and the conditions it was made in, I think about people that have lost someone, I think about people that have health problems and how I want to help, I think about alignment and getting people out of pain, I guess that is just it I just “think” more about everything all the time!
Phew! It’s tiring to think so much but I will take my sense of “awakened” consciousness over living my life, numb, dull, drunk, drugged, asleep any day!