Yoga has saved me. The ancient sages and mystics. Also ancient physical therapists and chiropractors, have saved me. I have felt the benefits, survived the aches and pains, and have come out stronger and more centered.
Yoga is an ancient art, sure. The universal sound of many practices, not just Yoga, is “aum.” This sound creates a vibration in the air, and also inside of me, that is magnified when done in company with other aumers.
AUM contains the original noise. Spoken aloud, it invokes the contradiction of emptiness and stillness along with fullness and the ripeness of the universe. When we aum, we partake of the sound of all.
So, the vibrations of aum, the oneness and singularity of my one existence, has contributed to healing.
On the other hand, I’ve seen many teachers and many types of yoga performed. Ideally, you will have a Yogi or instructor, who is aware of your limitations and can offer alternatives to some of the more intricate (a nice word for pretzel) poses.
Sure, I would have considered trying my hand at yogi school, but that ship has sailed, laden with yoginis in various states of pigeon pose.
Now, I’m just a student. And will remain one, as that is how this thing goes. It’s different than lifting weights or using gym machines. Really different. You use your own body’s weight and balance to fine-tune and hone your well-being.
What it’s done for me is immeasurable. Stretching and loosening a spine that has met with difficulty, i.e., gravity; building core muscles by isolating and defining those pesky spasm-prone areas; massaging the knee tendons which don’t swell up any more, but still stiffen with the weather (see #patellavane); restoring balance; and just looking cool.
Much more can be said, I could have even researched some definitions here. But I’ll leave it to you.
As in all things, the right teacher will appear when you need them. But the most important teacher in Yoga or anything else, is you yourself. And I.