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The word Yoga means union – to connect, attach or join. This relates to our bodies, both internally and externally.

We come to yoga for many reasons. You may have found yoga accidently. Maybe you heard about the health benefits and you wanted to try it out. Maybe you wanted to improve your flexibility and strength or to get in better shape. Or maybe your body told you that it was time to make a change for the better.

Many of us have habits to one degree or another. A problem arises, however, when we cannot decipher the depth of these habits. This is when a routine or pattern turns into a craving, compulsion or addiction.

We engage in bad habits as a way to escape the physical, mental and emotional pain. Overeating, substance abuse, drugs, alcohol, smoking or excessive exercising – all of which allow us to put this pain on the back burner for a bit while we feel free. However, this doesn’t last long and can cause a lot of other problems such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and low energy levels.

Not all habits are bad; the difference between a good habit and a bad habit is the depth of the habit. Even a good habit can cause harm if done in an addictive way.

We look toward yoga for a solution to these habits. Yoga is a connection of the mind, body and breath and therefore allows us to look within. Yoga gives us the ability to decide the good from the bad, to sort out what and who we truly are. Yoga enables us to release everything that no longer serves us. Yoga ignites our soul and allows us to become more aware.

To start a home practice, visit Udaya.com.

By Karen Staples Nicholson: Yogi, Writer, Health & Fitness advocate

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