Why does this happen? What is this magic in yoga that makes us feel so good?
There are several answers to this question. Some are scientific. Some are spiritual. I like to think about it as taking time to connect with your core self, to be free from distractions and to truly be in the present moment.
Yogis strive to achieve complete awareness of body, mind and spirit. That awareness comes in various forms, and is different for every single person, but coming into contact with the core self—the authentic self—is a practice in being truly conscious and alive.
When it comes to athletes, yoga is a perfect way to decompress and release the body from the constraints of training and other athletic pursuits. It’s a time to be quiet and completely focus on the body and the breath—those things that keep us running, and biking and swimming and swinging at balls, chasing Frisbees or doing whatever it is we do.
Taking time to nurture the body that works so hard for us is important. How many children grow up without support and love? How many vegetable and flower gardens will provide a bounty without tending and care? The body is the same way.
Use yoga to care for your body. Let it unravel. Let it decompress. At the same time, allow it to become strong and supple. Your mind will find that same strength and flexibility with a regular yoga practice.
Next time you’re at the end of yoga practice, harness that feeling of calmness and relaxation and take it off the mat and into your day. Try maintain that feeling as long as you can. And begin to pay attention to when that feeling begins to slip away and what causes it to do so. This might lead to a greater awareness of aspects of your life that you need to change or avoid.
Then come back to your practice and reunite with yourself. Find your bliss. Find your core self.