Benefits of Yoga
Benefits of Yoga
In chapter 15, The Cauliflower Robbery, Yogananda has harvested 6 cauliflowers that he is proud to share with Sri Yukteswar. As the disciples are called out to go march, Sri Yukteswar questions Yogananda about whether he locked the door to the Ashram or not. Yogananda carelessly replies that he “thinks so.” In teaching a lesson, Sri Yukteswar relates thoughts with a peasant and has him steal one of Yogananda’s cauliflowers.
Much like the way a radio operates, Sri Yukteswar’s thoughts vibrate in radio waves and he receives signals from other people then carries their thoughts out. A couple days later Yogananda’s lamp had been missing so he assumed the master would know where it is.
The master read Yogananda’s thoughts and directed him directly to where another pupil said he took it to. The lamp was not where the pupil said it was and Yogananda realized Sri Yukteswar was only mocking his expectations because he wouldn’t display his powers when challenged. Weeks passed, and one day the master asked the narrator to lead his disciples on a procession walk across the beach. Yogananda was worried the sun would make the sand too hot to bare but Sri Yukteswar assured him that with faith in the Omnipresent God his problems will be resolved.
The master had faith that God would protect him and his disciples as long as he was faithful in him and indeed God provided clouds to make shade for the sand trail. The lesson learned in this chapter is that God is impartial and will listen to everyone that has faith in him. He will fulfill anything one strongly desires with the right heart and faith. As a christian, this chapter strongly relates and is a recurring message in my life.
Like Yogananda, I constantly forget to keep my strong faith and to trust that God will provide in the end. Many times in my life I have forgotten about God as I try to resolve all of my own issues. Things don’t end up my way but usually they end up better because God’s plan is always best. Especially in the chapter of my life where I need guidance, I’m searching the internet, career sources, and the counselors for answers, but what this chapter of the book reminds me is that I need to meditate or pray to God to seek answers.
This class has helped me spend my time more positively. It’s helped me to find my way back to my faith and has given me the ability to focus and pray deeply. Although it is only a slight change, I’ve learned to spend more time outdoors rather than indoors during my spare time. Before this class I might’ve spent hours watching episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix to relieve my stress after my last class of the week, but now I go to the beach on Fridays after class to calm my mind and body.
In doing this I’ve been able to spend more time reflecting on who I am as an individual and the kind of person I aspire to be. After learning basic pranayamas or breathing techniques I’ve been practicing it at the beach where the repetition of the waves crash in sync to my breath.
This act of going to the beach with just my towel and myself has become a favorite routine. It serves as a time for me to delve deeper into my soul and really see the person I wish to portray to the world. Through these beach meditations I have also been able to realize and expand my potential as a human being.
On the other hand, the asana practice has challenged my every muscle. Having taken yoga classes for a while and being a dancer, I figured this class would just be like before or easier (I apologize for the underestimation). Instead I found myself challenged each day because you paid attention to detail to every students’ form and pushed students to stretch further or contract stronger. The difference with the asana practice I got out of this class and the ones I got at a yoga studio is that you, the teacher, always allowed room for the students to further stretch or strengthen.
The other studios had the students placed by level and if you couldn’t keep up, well then you should have signed up for an easier class. Whereas here, I felt comfortable that i was able to practice the poses at my own rate. Some were harder and some were easier. Either way I never felt above or below the class, which is very fair for all the students.
Because I had such a great experience in this yoga class, I’ve applied what I learned to my other classes. I became so intrigued in the lecture at the beginning of the course describing the benefits of yoga that I made a speech about it to present to my Human Communications class. All the benefits listed at the start of the course such as being able to get a better sleep, better digestion, and endurance in exercise has proven true in my life. I walked back to my dorm after every class feeling lighter and fresher.
Maybe it was the post exercise endorphins but I assure you that the lightweight feeling came from releasing my burdens during the affirmations. I was so inspired by this that I knew I had to inform others of this great practice. I also understand that yoga is not simply a physical activity, it is a spiritual trail that helps the mind think better so I stressed that in the speech. I’m glad I signed up for this class, because I got both physical and spiritual benefits out of it. In the future I will continue to take yoga classes and suggest yoga classes to others.