Is Yoga a necessary part of spiritual growth in the 21st Century?
If you have made a commitment to personal and spiritual growth, and you are searching for ways to support that growth, you may have heard yoga touted as one viable option. The best answer to the question, “Is yoga a necessary part of spiritual growth in the 21st century?” is: MAYBE.
If you have tried yoga, and find that you did not enjoy it, and even found it uncomfortable–physically or mentally, I suggest you try another class, another form of yoga, another instructor. Do your due diligence to see if there is a yoga class or yoga practice that suits you and may facilitate you growing and deepening your spiritual practice. If you find yoga that enables you to commit to a regular practice (because you enjoy it) and gives you routine opportunity to breathe, to stretch and move your beautiful muscles and joints and to be present with your Self through the quietness of the class, then YES–yoga can become a beautiful, necessary part of your spiritual growth path.
YOGA CLASS FAILURE
If, on the other hand, you just do not like it, it is uncomfortable in whatever way, and you cannot seem to find a class or practice you resonate with and being next to other people in the class brings out the competitive side of you…focusing on comparison and outstretching “them” instead of focusing inward on YOU, then NO–yoga is not a necessary part of your spiritual growth path.
You want to find activity or practices that allow you to release your thinking, analytical brain, and allow you to get into the flow of the universe. You want some activity that YOU look forward to, not some activity that someone else tells you that you must do to be spiritual!!
Spiritual and personal growth and expression may occur almost anywhere. Quilting, gardening, dancing, swimming, hiking. Clear outside stimulus for a period of time at least weekly, and build up to as many days as you can to BE WITH YOUR SELF. Do something that feels nourishing to your soul.
To take a non yoga activity and use it as a part of your spiritual growth journey, take these few pointers:
–Turn down external stimuli: Do your quilting or woodworking or gardening in silence.
–Put away your phone for as long as possible during your activity.
–Be intentional that this is designated ME TIME.
–Pray to God or ask your inner spirit for insights on an issue in your life while you are in this activity.
–Be consistent with your practice.
–Enjoy the hell out of it.
I hope this brief explanation helps you to see that forcing yourself to do a yoga practice that you dread for 30 days or 12 months for the sake of ‘Spiritual Growth’ at the end when you are frustrated and have experienced no real growth might only serve to remind you that you are not cut out for this. That as much as you desire personal evolution, it just doesn’t work for you. That you have tried, but failed. When in reality, whatever your inner spirit does to express herself, to create, to be quiet and contemplate her busy outside life, to breathe deeply and lose her sense of time in the joy of doing is equally as important as a 50 minute yoga class.
Follow me on Instagram @ZenInHighHeels