The focus in many yoga classes shifts from inside to the outside, adding the competition element which is characteristic to other sports. Unfortunately, that’s when yoga loses its powerful healing ability and opportunity to reconnect.
When people practice yoga to get external benefits (validation, attention, admiration), they in fact hurt themselves. But when practiced correctly, yoga can facilitate strong body-mind connection, allowing to tune in and re-discover your body, gain mindful insights and make use of them.
Yoga is a powerful mindfulness-awakening tool, but only when it is practiced for the right reasons and with proper guidance.
If you attend yoga classes, or consider starting some, take some time to find a guru who teaches it in a more holistic way – using pranayama (breathing), meditation and helping to draw the attention inwards. Accepting your body’s limitations, instead of reaching the pose at all costs (which is more often than not is an injury).