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FORT BONIFACIO, Philippines ÔÇô Yoga has been known for its many benefits. Some swear by it for losing weight, others for creating strength, while still others for a complete overhaul of oneÔÇÖs emotional life. ┬áAnd yet, it is ┬ástill surrounded by controversies. On one end of the spectrum, it is seen as an exercise, no different from other workouts. On the other end of the spectrum, it is labelled as a religion because of its connection to ancient Hinduism. So, what exactly is yoga when it is stripped away from its definition and described as an experience?

Yoga can give you an experience of how your life can change. Have you ever lost your cool over something that is trivial in retrospect? Has traffic in The Fort ruined your day at least once in the last month? Do you think of how your life would be much easier if you can pay off your mortgage in your Burgos Circle condo unit, if only your partner will give you more attention, if you can have that promotion, etc? 

Photo source: yoga+.

According to Ms Nancy Siy, a Jivamukti yoga teacher in yoga+, yoga as a practice is not a means to escape our everyday problems, although it may seem like it in the beginning. For an hour or so, you leave your worries behind, you focus on your breathing, you stretch your body, you learn to balance, and you build your strength. There is so much going on in one single yoga pose that it starts to feel like there is no room for anything else, including your problems. And yet, it is in these moments that you learn to stay calm. Never mind that your thighs are burning and your sweat is dripping. You are getting it. You now understand that however challenging this present moment is, there is an end to it. You look around and see other people in the room and you might start to compare and feel competitive, but in time you also realize that there are things outside of your control, and it is only your self-created stories that are bringing you misery. 

Practicing yoga teaches you the experience of growing into your best self. While you are not perfect, you are compassionate towards that imperfection. While you are struggling, you have the sensible perspective that this struggle is temporary. While impatience may arise, you have the mental clarity to simply sit through it and respond in a manner that is appropriate to you.

Photo source: yoga+.

For many people, yoga is not just a workout but is also not a religion. It is a practice that makes use of exercises, and yet whose end results exceed the physical benefits.  Yoga has the power to change our perception of this life from a struggle to be overcome into a joyful existence to be cherished. 

The best way to understand yoga is to try it yourself. yoga+ inspires you to become a happy, healthy, and better human being. 

If you want to know more and experience yoga for yourself, call yoga+ at 86-YOGA+, visit www.yogaplus.ph, or email info@yogaplus.ph. 

You be the judge of what yoga really is.

Related: ÔÇ£A 5-Minute Guide to Yoga and Pilates Studios in The Fort, Metro ManilaÔÇØ, Fitness Classes in The Fort

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