How do you personally perceive the term yoga? Do you think of health, wellness, fitness or a workout? Do do you think of flexibility, meditation, spirituality or becoming a human pretzel? I had a student tell me a few years ago that yoga, to him, was a fitness discipline. That term has stuck with me as a yoga student and teacher.

Pictured: David Pascador, Instructor

Fitness is defined as, “the condition of being physically fit and healthy.” Discipline is defined as, “the practice of training people to obey rules or code of behavior using punishment to correct disobedience.” While I don’t feel yoga is a punishment for disobedience (although on some challenging days it might feel like it is), it is a learned practice of skill that requires a growth mindset, active listening, and doing the work on a regular basis. Your “yoga practice” means just that, you have to practice, practice, practice to grow and progress.

I feel the discipline aspect can be refined for our purposes as self-discipline. Self-discipline is, “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.” Of course we all know that is easier said than done, but it can be done if we choose. You can find this sort of control with a positive mindset and the power of your breath. 

The physical practice of yoga combines all of the things we label health, wellness, fitness and exercise. Yoga builds strength, increases flexibility and depending on the type of yoga, can offer quite a cardio blast and calorie burn. Yoga provides an overall wellness to the mind and body which I will address later in this series of blog posts. Regardless of which yoga class you try first, you should leave feeling refreshed and recharged. You may also feel a little less achy and probably a little less stressed. Who would not be open to exploring new ways to have a little more of that in your life? See you soon on your mat here at Freedom Fitness and Yoga.

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