Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting. It is a beautiful time to reassess our lives and unlearn.
Interestingly, it is only after a few days of fasting that one begins to notice its benefits like increased mental energy or enhanced concentration. Since we make our digestive system work several times a day, a fast is a great way to give it some rest and allow it to recover from unhealthy abuse.
Usually, I give up certain foods, drinks and habits. Things I feel I cannot do without. And every year I do understand afresh that we are not slave to our senses. With God’s help all things are possible. One can be totally renewed, restored and transformed.
Taking a closer look at the nature of fasting and yoga made me realize that both have similar characteristics:
#1: Yoga and Fasting Require Discipline and Dedication
We will encounter periods when we feel the urge to simply give up. We want to quit because we either feel stagnant in our yoga practice or we no longer want to endure a feeling of deprivation. We want to enjoy life! Enjoyment to us means leisure, fun and laziness. We want to be carefree.
But this is also the point where we encounter change. We understand that an unhealthy lifestyle, in the long run, leads to sorrow and pain. And we understand that our definition of enjoyment, in fact, is counter-productive, leading to lack and discomfort. Please, rest assured. Tomorrow is another day. Every day is different and so is everyday’s battle. No blessing comes uncontested! Let us, therefore, face every single battle with a smile and keep at it. We need to remain principled in order to grow, spiritually as well as physically.
#2: Yoga and Fasting are Surprisingly Intense
I have a new client. And he is super fit. But stretching his muscles is very challenging for him. He perpetually feels tight. But he thoroughly enjoys the benefits of yoga.
When he first understood its underlying principle he searched for the right words to describe this new sensation. The only thing that came to his mind was that yoga is surprisingly intense. It is challenging whereas it looks so simple.
And so is fasting. The longer we fast and the longer we practice, the more appreciative we become of life. Every single minute we feel hungry or tired becomes a struggle. Every single moment we deprive ourselves of food or water, we strengthen our God-confidence. There is so much more to us than us.
#3: We Learn to Live in Moderation
Fasting teaches us to live moderately. We usually eat too much, drink too much, spend too much, work too much, worry too much and rest, believe and sleep too little. We cannot seem to find an end and tend to live a life of extremes. We are restless. If we push our asana (yoga poses) practice, we will fail and either pull soft tissues or compromise on our breath. In both cases we have to learn to be satisfied with moderate progress. And we will realize that it does not take much to live a fulfilled life. A humble lifestyle allows us to truly appreciate the joys in life.
#4: We Encounter Joy
A good yoga practice is like a beautiful composition. It is like a dance, like a choreography. And it flows. Some sessions are more inspired than others. And, to me, the best classes are the ones where I feel in sync with you. This helps me understand your individual challenges better.
After such a practice we often feel still. We feel at peace. We feel relaxed. And we feel joy. This is a deeper sensation than happiness. Mind, body and breath are connected.
Similarly, we feel joy after we’ve overcome the urge to eat just because we are so used to constantly chew. We have forgotten how it feels to be free. Focus and determination guide us to freedom and salvation.
Are you hungry for God? And are you ready to become more and more like Him?
Chi’s Yoga is your personalized healthy yoga. It is my mission to help you own your yoga. We understand that everyBODY is different. And so is your yoga. Your yoga is yours only!™
Fasting is beneficial physically, mentally, and spiritually. And good physical, mental and spiritual health is what Chi’s Yoga is all about.
If you want to know more about how I practice, join my weekly yoga classes in Ikoyi-Lagos.
You are blessed.
Chi’s Yoga – Your yoga is yours only!™