WHAT MAKES YOGA DIFFERENT THAN OTHER EXERCISE

WHAT MAKES YOGA DIFFERENT THAN OTHER EXERCISE


Yoga is growing in popularity and you
might have seen Studios popping up in your neighborhood or heard people
talking about it but you’re not exactly sure what it is there’s a lot of
confusion about what yoga actually is so in this video I’m going to explain where
yoga comes from what it is and what it isn’t and what the one thing is that
makes it different than other types of exercise what’s up guys I’m Sheryl Utal
I’m a yoga teacher and the founder of a Red Diamond Yoga in Los Angeles and I
absolutely love yoga because it completely changed my life
as a teacher what I love most is educating people about what yoga
actually is because there’s a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about
yoga and what it is most people when they find out that I teach yoga tell me
right away I can’t practice yoga because I’m not flexible and that’s like saying
my house is too dirty so I can’t clean it. If your house is dirty you
definitely need to clean it and if you’re not flexible
you need to practice yoga because it will help you get more flexible but
ultimately being more flexible is not the goal of yoga the goal of yoga is
being happier. Yoga originated in India over 4,000 years ago so to give you some
context that’s around the same time that the ancient pyramids were built in Egypt
so it’s a really really old practice what some people think is that Yoga is a
religion so that’s what yoga is not Yoga is not a religion but it is a philosophy
and it was originally invented by a bunch of guys who had anxiety they
didn’t have email or traffic or any of the other things that cause us stress in
our modern lives but they had a busy mind and they were suffering and they
had a lot of stress and they knew it and they intuitively knew that by
controlling their posture which they called asana and their breath which they
called pranayama they could control the things that they thought about and they
could control the movements of the mind and that would ultimately lead them to
more peace and happiness so yoga is not a religion it is a philosophy it’s very
old and it was originally passed down from teacher to student and teacher to
student and over all of these thousands of years it has evolved and in our
modern world it’s become a lot more athletic and there are a lot of
different disciplines and different styles that have evolved but the root of
yoga the goal of yoga is really ultimately the same regardless of what
style you prefer to practice and that is to find more peace and happiness over
these thousands of years there were texts like ancient books that were
written that outlines what the obstacles of practice are exactly how to practice
and what makes yoga different than other types of exercise the two most famous
books are the Bahadva Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras
of Patanjali there is an eight step method for practicing yoga and
ultimately what’s defined in the eight steps is that the goal of yoga is to
practice non-attachment and that when we can control the
movements of the mind we can clearly see the things that we cling to and how
those things are temporary and those things are in the material world and
those things when we lose them causes suffering and that we can separate that
from our true self and our true nature which is infinite so you can compare the
two right the movements of the mind and the things that we identify with that
aren’t really who we are that’s the temporary stuff and then the things that
are infinite that’s our soul that’s who we really are and so the ancient Yogi’s
knew that by practicing posture and breath control we could become instead
of like the victim of our thoughts we could become the seer and this is all
referred to in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali understanding that you’re the
witness of the mind and that you in fact have control over the move
of your mind and that with practice you can control them and you can ultimately
find more peace and happiness with this method there’s some more information
about the eight steps of yoga that are outlined in the Yoga Sutras on my
website so you can go to sherylutal.com calm and there’s just a little
information on each of the eight steps sort of a whet your appetite and if
you’re really interested in learning more about it then of course you can
read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali so now we’ve covered what yoga is and what it
isn’t and where it comes from but the one thing that makes you a bit different
than other types of exercise or any other activity that you could possibly
do is one important thing and the ancient Yogi’s defined this in the
sutras and that is the simultaneous cognition of effort and release so they
call this a sthirum and sukham and what that means is that in any given moment
you have a complete awareness of the things that are required for you to
engage in that moment and the things that are not required for you to engage
in that moment so it’s about what you’re holding on to and what you’re letting go
of in anything that you do so let’s apply this to a yoga posture so it’s
take warrior 2 for example warrior 2 is a standing posture that when held for a
little bit of time and when I say a little bit 30 seconds or a minute is
enough it’s a little bit of time but it’s enough to trigger heat in the legs
and discomfort so you’ll start to feel uncomfortable and your mind’s gonna
start making up a story about why you should quit and why it’s uncomfortable
and why you’re not good at this and why you should give up and it’s gonna start
to get loud and simultaneously there’s going to be an effort required in the
legs but what makes it yoga in that moment because anybody can hold warrior
to make an angry face hold their breath and have angry thoughts but what makes
it instead Yoga is the cognition that yes you’re uncomfortable yes you’re
using a lot of effort in the legs however you’re able to let go of those
thoughts of why you might not be good at it or why you might not like it and
you’re able to let go of any unnecessary tension in your body
so instead of making an angry face you can soften your face you can relax your
mouth your jaw your throat your tongue you can
find a nice calm conscious relaxed breath and that is what makes it yoga
anything else is just exercise and both situations both circumstances whether
it’s just exercise or whether it’s yoga your body will benefit your body will
get stronger and more flexible and healthier and you’ll be able to
experience more vitality and longevity but why not add that element of
conscious release if you’re already doing the physical work make your
practice yoga make it about finding that awareness of letting go of the things
that don’t serve you and that’s how our modern practice no matter what music is
playing whether it’s hip-hop or whether it’s something that the ancient guys
would completely not even recognize we can still apply those principles that
they identified four thousand plus years ago and the reason why it’s been around
this long is because it works it’s really really effective they didn’t have
neuroscience and they didn’t have studies to prove that this type of
practice of controlling the body and controlling the breath and controlling
the mind really did reduce stress and anxiety but they were onto something
because we now have science to back it all up and the science tells us that
yoga is a very powerful and effective method at reducing stress and increasing
our happiness so now you know where yoga comes from you know what it is and what
it isn’t and you know the one thing that makes it different than any other type
of exercise I hope that you found this video informative and that you enjoyed
it please subscribe to the channel I’ll be adding a lot more videos like this
I’m also adding pose tutorials and full-length classes to help empower you
to have a yoga practice that’s meaningful in your life thank you so
much for watching namaste for now and I’ll see you in the
next video