Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Yoga. A practice dating from about the 4th century BCE (maybe as far as 3000 BCE), originating from India, combining physical, mental and spiritual practices.
From the Yoga Sutras: yogas chitta vritti nirodhah (1.2)
"Yoga is the calming down the fluctuations/patterns of consciousness"
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which we may associate with the English yoke : "to join", "union".
This practice can easily look inaccessible or unavailable, with pictures of contortionist-like postures, and very similar body types representing yoga all over the place. But going over the simple definition of yoga above, does that seem to be what the practice of yoga is about? I really don't think so ...
So, where to start?
As long as you have a breath and a body, you can practice: that's a good start!
Reading this, feel your feet against the earth, sit up a little bit straighter, and take a soft but deep breath in through the nose.
Let it go through the mouth.
Two more times, with eyes closed.
Did you notice a shift in your body? In your mind?
There is no right or wrong answer. You just took a few moments to breathe, to notice that breath, and to pay attention to yourself.
The practice is to do this once a day, then a bit more often, or every time you remember to do it.
You can then add movement to your practice.
Staying on your chair is an option. You can start by circling your shoulders, or your arms over head, following the rhythm of your breath.
You may also find a comfortable space on the floor, and start moving your body, paying attention to the sensations that are present.
You may then introduce some yoga asana, the physical postures commonly used in some styles of yoga. For that, you are welcome to follow the beginner's series on my youtube channel:
If you are just starting and have any questions, don't be shy to reach out, and comment below how the practice is helping you today!