Off the Mat: Yoga is a Lifestyle

By CNY Healing Arts Published on

At CNY Healing Arts Centers in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, NY we offer many different opportunities for participating in a yoga class or workshop. Check out our current yoga schedule here. As you practice yoga and learn more about it you will see that it doesn’t take place in the studio only. Yoga is a lifestyle and it can enrich your life once you learn to integrate it into your life and practice off the mat.

Below are just a few ways you can integrate yoga in your life and begin to practice off the mat. You may find you have already been doing some of these, keep up the good work!

Live in the now, be present.

Live in the present, in the day-to-day. This is a fundamental lesson we re-learn every time we place our bare feet on a yoga mat. It is a useful way to practice living off the mat as well. Practice resisting the thoughts and temptations that may tempt you out of the present moment.

Spiritual growth through the body and mind.

The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. Yoga truly is a unique union of physical practice, mental focus, stamina, flexibility, relaxation and above all else, a healthy balance between mind, body and spirit. As we deepen our practice and become more aware of our mind and body we begin to open up spiritually and are more receptive to what the Universe offers.

Focus on the breath.

When practicing yoga, remaining in the present moment can be a constant challenge. The breath is always with us; by focusing on this rhythm we can stay anchored in the moment. Focusing on the breath is useful off the mat as well as on. Day to day we encounter many different things that impact our stress levels, and sometimes coming back to the breath can be the most effective tool to remain balanced.

Focusing on the breath offers the opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow. When pull ourselves back to the breath, we can see where our mind tends to wander and are often confronted with our repetitive thought patterns. Negative thoughts can be seen and worked with after their recognition. Through yoga we unite physical movement to the breath and, in effect, draw our focus inward.

There are many other ways to practice yoga off the mat. How do you do it?