Yoga and Tai Chi ~ An Intro to Buddhism
As a final recommendation for either beginning or advancing your understanding of Buddhism, go to a yoga or tai chi class! The vinyasa and ch'uan performed in yoga and tai chi are themselves methods of practicing Buddhism through movement, and in every class the instructor applies various concepts of this way of life into their sessions.
You should never feel intimidated by yoga, as it is always encouraged that one listen to their body and go at their own pace. It is meant to be strengthening and restorative, making it perfect for recovering the body after injury and keeping the body limber in old age. Yoga can serve as either your dominant form of exercise, or as a supplement to your typical fitness regimen, from running and cycling, to cross-fit and weight-lifting. When attending yoga classes in Los Angeles, don’t be surprised if the mat next to yours belongs to a college or professional athlete, there for his daily asanas.
There are numerous online yoga communities and apps like Down Dog to give you zero excuses for skipping your practice, but nothing can replace the karmic energy that happens inside the classroom. Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes before class to check in with the front desk and settle into Stillness.
Karate, Kung-fu, Taekwondo and other martial arts are also forms of movement meditations, applying Buddhist concepts like mindfulness towards a regular practice. These movement studies are powerful ways to enhance your breath and mortal energy in ways you never knew were possible! Hand-to-hand sparring is usually optional for beginners, but is essential for advancing your practice.
Let me know in the comments below if you have tried out any of my recommendations! What affect did they have on you and the quality of your life? No doubt you will have at least learned the ancient art of breathing!
May you reap the blessings of your journey, and find your inner light… or, Happy searching for your Authentic Self!
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~An Intro to Buddhism~