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Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui Thailand

How Yoga Fits into Life

By Arielle Nash-Degagne

so-beach-classBetween work, working out, social activities and family commitments “Where does yoga really fit into life?”

Of the many different types of people who come to visit us here at Samahita, this is the most common question we get.

When you’re on retreat and in an environment supporting healthy living and yoga as a lifestyle, it’s easy.  You want to take the yoga lifestyle home, but the minute you return, and there is a cue of people and things wanting your time, it requires more effort.

Yoga is a very powerful tool, what it will teach you and bring to your life is highly dependent on the attention you give it.  This doesn’t mean that you need to set aside 2-3 hours six days a week.  What it does mean is that you put in the effort and when you practice, you do so with sincerity and focus.  Thirty to forty-five minutes of focused practice, 3-4 days a week, done correctly, will have a more profound effect on your mental and physical state than a hard-to-keep up 90 minute daily, rushed and distracted yoga class. My suggestion is to focus on how you can fit yoga in, rather than making your life fit yoga.

It does fit in nicely if you’re already active, as a part of a fitness schedule. For example, let’s say you go to the gym for an hour, performing cardio and weights on alternating days.  You can easily shift your exercise routine to be more efficient by including interval training, super-setting, and multi-joint, multi-planar functional movements instead of old school isolation training and long slow aerobic activity.  You can even use the guidance of Auyrveda (a sister science of yoga) to choose activities that support your natural make-up to increase your enjoyment and adherence. Ultimately this will lead to faster results and bigger health gains, in less time. And, we all know there is a plethora of health benefits to practicing yoga, so integrating it into your regular routine will further improve your health and fitness level.

Over time, the effects that the dedicated, focused time with yourself and your breath have on your level of awareness and clarity, will begin to flow into other areas of your life. This is whether you are currently active or not.

If diet was an issue before, you will become more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.  You will naturally make better choices. Because you fuel yourself with proper nutrients, you will be less likely to experience a mid day slump and less likely to drink that extra cup of coffee.

You may choose to spend more time being active, outdoors in nature, with fresh air, rather than indoors sweating in air conditioning.

Your reaction to stress will change.  Your focus at work will increase, making you more productive and efficient with your time, with less sick days.  Practicing in the morning will bring clarity and alertness to your day.

Your social and family relationships may improve as you make choices to spend valued time with like-minded people and interact with more direct attention.

All of these things will contribute to you feeling vibrant; excited to get out of bed everyday.  Everyday.  For life.  Ultimately, this vitality is the goal and result of living a healthy lifestyle.

Arielle’s next retreat: “Yoga and Health Lifestyle” March 7-14 with Anthea Grimason

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How Yoga Fits into Life
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Yoga is a very powerful tool, what it will teach you and bring to your life is highly dependent on the attention you give it. This doesn’t mean that you need to set aside 2-3 hours six days a week. What it does mean is that you put in the effort and when you practice, you do so with sincerity and focus.
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